Viral: Photos taken by Bali dive school shows coral defaced with writing etched in, racist backlash sparked

Coral vandalized by careless tourists in a photo gone viral across Bali social media in Sept. 2016 after it was shared by a Karangasem-based dive school.
Coral vandalized by careless tourists in a photo gone viral across Bali social media in Sept. 2016 after it was shared by a Karangasem-based dive school.

Sad photos making the rounds on Bali social media show coral severely damaged with words carved into them. 

With all the pollution, rubbish, and careless tourist practices (e.g. people standing on reefs), it’s unfortunately not uncommon to see once vibrant corals become grayish and dead in Bali waters.

However, these pictures posted by OK Divers are so exceptionally disturbing because they show coral that has been intentionally defaced with words and names etched into them. 

The destruction was made by “careless divers,” according to Bali diving school OK Divers. In their Facebook post, OK Divers added that the guide should have known better to prevent the divers from carving out the coral and they are working to find the guide responsible. 

But at least the diver has come forward and “they are truly sorry.” While “sorry” won’t help the coral, at the bare minimum, it’s a life-long lesson learned—making this a lesson appears to be the main motivation behind the original Facebook post.

Some of the words in the coral are written in Chinese, which has apparently sparked a flurry of racist comments since the pictures were posted on Sept. 8 and received over 5,000 shares. 

The diving school has said it does not stand by any of the racist and hateful comments written and this is should not be seen as a “problem of race, color or nationality.” 

Let’s instead focus on how we can “protect the precious underwater world.” 

“Hate won’t resolve anything. Positive action will,” the dive school concluded. 

See the full post here:

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