Opinion Brief

Does Mark Zuckerberg deserve to be Time's 'Person of the Year'?

The Facebook founder beat out WikiLeaks' Julian Assange to be named the planet's most influential human. Was he the right choice?

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's 26-year-old co-founder and chief executive, has been named Time's "Person of the Year." The weekly news magazine said it chose Zuckerberg 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." The selection has, inevitably, provoked criticism, especially from those who assumed that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would be deemed the bigger newsmaker. Does the Facebook phenom deserve the title?

Assange was robbed: Everyone thought the WikiLeaks founder would take the spot, says Nitasha Tiku at New York, but Time has gone for the "safer option" of Zuckerberg. This, in spite of the fact that the "person with the most impact, [and the] person most speculated over" was clearly Assange. Naming the Facebook founder "feels dated" already.
"Time Magazine's person of the year is not Julian Assange"

It should have been Steve Jobs: Time's justifications for choosing Zuckerberg could easily be applied to Apple's CEO, says Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune, "an individual who has shaped our world as much as — if not more than — Mark Zuckerberg, and who has a business model that actually works." I'm guessing that if Time Inc. wasn't in a dispute with Apple over its app store, "we might have seen a different face on this week's cover."
"Why Mark Zuckerberg, not Steve Jobs, is Time's person of the year"

Zuckerberg was the sensible choice: Time was faced with a dilemma here, says Jared Newman at PC World. Choose a man "whose work exposed dirty secrets and sent governments into panic mode" and is currently behind bars. Or "pick the man whose work brought together more than 500 million people." The magazine went for "warm and fuzzy" over controversial. Disappointed? At least it's a "better choice than You," the pathetic 2006 winner.
"Facebook's Zuckerberg is Time's person of the year"

Wisdom prevailed: I had nothing to do with making this decision, says James Poniewozik at Time, but I can hazard a guess why Zuckerberg won over Assange. The WikiLeaks story, as big as it is, was "magnified by being the most recent big story of 2010." And while the WikiLeaks site is a good example of "the shift in the information ecosystem," Zuckerberg's creation is, "increasingly, the ecosystem itself."
"Time updates Zuckerberg's status to 'Person of the Year'"

Recommended

Is ChatGTP going to change the world as we know it?
A word balloon.
Briefing

Is ChatGTP going to change the world as we know it?

Elon Musk briefly loses title of world's richest person
Twitter owner Elon Musk.
Dropping to Number Two

Elon Musk briefly loses title of world's richest person

Why you want to think twice before using viral AI portrait app Lensa
artist's hand painting photo
technical ethical dilemma

Why you want to think twice before using viral AI portrait app Lensa

iPod creator launches new crypto wallet as industry fallout continues
Cryptocurrency coins depicted in an illustration.
Making Something New

iPod creator launches new crypto wallet as industry fallout continues

Most Popular

The rumored reason why AOC is facing a House ethics probe
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shows off her infamous "Tax the Rich" dress at the 2021 Met Gala.
dress drama

The rumored reason why AOC is facing a House ethics probe

Gen Z congressman can't rent apartment in Washington
Incoming Gen Z congressman Maxwell Frost
Frostbitten

Gen Z congressman can't rent apartment in Washington

Gas is now cheaper in the U.S. than it was a year ago
Gas prices
Gas Holiday

Gas is now cheaper in the U.S. than it was a year ago