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Zuckerberg Named Time's Person Of The Year

David Gilbert


Zuckerberg Named Time's Person Of The Year

It is a funny old world when a 26-year-old computer geek is named as the most influencial person of 2010. Though in a public poll, TIme's Person of the Year, Mark Zuckerberg lost out to Wikileaks founder Julain Assange.

Mark Zuckerberg was announced today as Time magazine’s Person of the Year, an award previously won by fellow technocrats Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and king of the geeks Bill Gates – though Gates' award was more for his philanthropy than his technical wizardry. And this philanthropic leaning may also have had an influence in the awarding of the gong to Zuckerberg. Last month he signed up to the Giving Pledge, which is a charity founded by Warren Buffet and Gates to commit America’s wealthiest people to step up their charitable donations.

Zuckerberg, who is one of the youngest billionaires in the world, owns about a quarter of Facebook’s shares. The decision to give the award to Zuckererg ahead of Assange (who won the reader poll) was taken by the editors at Time, and some have already claimed the decision was influenced by the backlash against Wikileaks in the US since the diplomatic cables were released.

Time editor, Rick Stengel, said: "Assange sees the world as filled with real and imagined enemies; Zuckerberg sees the world as filled with potential friends. Like two of our runners-up this year, Julian Assange and the Tea Party, Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have a whole lot of veneration for traditional authority." The award rates the person or group that has most influenced the events of the last year "for better or for worse." Other runners-up include Afghan president Hamid Karzai, the Chilean miners and the right-wing Tea Party movement.

Zuckerberg and Facebook have had a busy year, including simplying its controversial privacy controls, reaching the 500 million milestone, adding its Places service, announcing its email messaging service and failing to annouce the much-rumoured Facebook Phone.


December 15, 2010, 10:56 pm

Let's see... a man who enabled the world to share pointless pictures of their pets on line and have their friends comment on it or a man who has released details of some of the horrendous and shameful activities our governments would rather you didn't know about.

Hmm. Tough choice.


December 15, 2010, 11:17 pm

You may not like Facebook or Zuckerberg but there's no doubt that he's created something that has changed the world and enriched many people's lives.

As for Wikileaks, I'm not against openness and transparency but I do think some things should definitely be kept confidential.


December 16, 2010, 12:29 am

I like and use Facebook but TIME have bottled it here. That's the truth.


December 16, 2010, 5:56 am

@ Sleeper - that's a big 10-4


December 16, 2010, 11:30 am

What did Zuckerberg do in 2010 that he didn't do in 2009?

As usual, it seems that the traditional media is lagging behind. TIME is probably investigating the phenomenon of "Second Life" as we speak...


December 16, 2010, 12:32 pm

The world is changing, more and more people have computers and are online. There are those that came before Facebook (Friendster, MySpace, etc) and there will be those that come after. Zuck did nothing new or innovative, it's just a bloody website (and a business). You have to feel sorry for people doing real good. Thing is though, this is a tech blog, had it gone to anyone else we wouldn't even be discussing it.

As for Assange, he's a self-serving know-it-all and it just shows how dangerous a place the "cloud" is when people like him can have so much destructive power. (Despite what my idiotic socialist and freedom-of-speech "friends" on Facebook think about him). Oh and i'm sure "the public" was some Rage-Against-The-Machine like campaign and not what most people actually did vote for. Poor no2.

Well like the petty and insecure people on Facebook who can only feel confident in themselves if they add more friends or get people going "like" to their witty and intelligent status updates (ie. 98% of people), Time went for the option that'd give them the most coverage. Though choosing Assange may have been more controversial.

I wonder if Zuck has "Time Person of the Year" as his FB status.


December 16, 2010, 2:48 pm

@Sleeper: I salute you.

In light of this choice, it seems that people who sit back and make money are more beneficial to the world than people who fight for their ideals or for their very survival.

In my humble opinion, all Facebook has done is exploit the fact that people are spending more and more time in front of their screens (most of the time not by choice) in combination with the innate tendency of the modern human butt in and show off.

To be perfectly honest, I've had enough of Mr. Zuckerberg. It's nothing personal and I don't mean to belittle his work (there are, after all, 500 million people who disagree with me), but I hate the way they are shoving him down our throats. They even made a film about him, directed by the (otherwise respectable) David Fincher... doesn't anyone else think they're overdoing it?

Hamish Campbell

December 16, 2010, 5:05 pm

The tea party? An movement in US internal politics that has yet to get into power? Seems an odd choice. What exactly are they influencing?


December 16, 2010, 8:40 pm


Only 2-3 million people could access the "confidential" before wikileaks made it public, we already knew what come out anyway. Andy Pandy is an aloof berk, fat kings want someone to drop bombs on their rivals. Time sold out to US government, they can bluff how Hitler won it, but in the current timeline they sucked up to the White House.

I fully support the web attacks on the cowardly US businesses that have all to willing profit from wikileaks in the past. Even now a sham trial is in progress.

He's a lucky guy though, Palin wants him hunted like Bin Laden, time to get the hamlet out.

Fakebook will never be a part of my life it's totally needless, just look at the same corporate friends you can have.

Watching a movie about some college dude who set up a website in 2010 is surreal. Wait...


December 17, 2010, 12:31 am


To be honest I haven't really looked into all the details of the various cables so I can't comment with any authority.

I would have to think that Assange would be a worthy candidate but how often does the most deserving person win anything?

Maybe Zuckerberg just had a bigger field of ponies.


December 18, 2010, 12:30 am


I know, it's a sad reflection of the times we are in. I don't think Zuckerberg is any less worthy than Assange, and the US army guy who leaked the cables who is in solitary confinement is more worthy than either.

Funny how the US trumpets a chinese dissident yet wants to import their own.

Democracy weakens your opponents. That's all the USA government is interested they would clap their hands in glee if the personalities involved got silenced.

My point is how sucky the media is to governments and power bases.

Looks forawrd to the "independent" Caroline Wyatt on the beeb telling how Afghanistan is so very worth it when we are going back to the 70's and funding warlords.

I think I should shut up now, apologies to all.

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