Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is Times 2010 Person of the Year
For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME’s 2010 Person of the Year. Read more at Time.com
Labelled on the cover of the Person of the Year double issue as “The Connector”, the announcement has come as a slightly unexpected choice amongst pundits and voters. A popular vote among readers of the newsmagazine showed their pick as Julian Assange, the controversial founder of WikiLeaks. National politicians, international threats, and the leaders of hot-button political movements were also up for consideration. Assange was selected as the runner-up to Zuckerberg. And, whilst Time makes it very clear that the final selection of the PotY rests with their editorial staff, they do solicit input from their readers, and it is the results of this poll that listed the top 25 nominees that has caused some to question the validity and value of reader opinion to the Time editors.
In the final tally on the readers poll, Assange was the clear populist winner collecting over 380,000 votes. Zuckerberg was listed in 10th position having been selected by just over 18,000 poll voters. (You can see the full list of nominees and the votes they received here.) Even Lady Gaga and the Chilean Miners polled better than the Facebook founder. As one of the comment-leavers on the Time.com website points out:
Here’s the vote count:
#1: Julian Assange — Average Rating: 92, total votes: 382,024
#10: Mark Zuckerburg — Average Rating: 52. Total votes: 18,353.
Biased much, Time? Why hold a poll if you’re not going to count the votes? I’m boycotting your “organization” so long as I have life in me. Oh, and I’m not threatening your website personally, but be prepared from a massive DDoS attack by “Anonymous”.
That information notwithstanding, Zuckerberg’s unsmiling 26-year old face will be staring down at us from magazine racks all over the world by the time you read this post. Incidentally, he is not they youngest ever Time Person of the Year (or Man of the Year as it was originally known). That honour remains with American aviator Charles Lindbergh who was 24 when he was named Man of the Year in way back in 1927, making him not only the youngest recipient of the award but also the first.
In his editorial explaining the 2010 choice, Time editor Richard Stengel has this to say: “The way we connect with one another and with the institutions in our lives is evolving. There is an erosion of trust in authority, a decentralizing of power and at the same time, perhaps, a greater faith in one another. Our sense of identity is more variable, while our sense of privacy is expanding. What was once considered intimate is now shared among millions with a keystroke. More than anyone else on the world stage, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is at the center of these changes.”
This year, Facebook dominated many a technology headline as the company reached 500 million users around the world, made an extensive set of upgrades to its social-networking product that pushed it further into every corner of our online lives, and became a sensation in Hollywood with the release of “The Social Network,” an acclaimed film about Facebook’s origins that paints an insidious and in some ways fictionalized version of Zuckerberg. Jesse Eisenberg, the actor who played Zuckerberg on screen, was nominated Tuesday for a Golden Globe award for Best Actor (one of five nominations for the film overall), and there is a strong chance that “Social Network” will pick up a handful of Academy Award nominations as well.
So, what do you think? Is Zuckerberg an appropriate choice of Person of the Year for 2010? Who did/would you have voted for?