Time Names Facebook Founder Zuckerberg "Person of the Year"

Is Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg a good choice for "Person of the Year"? Time Magazine thinks so. I don't. Zuckerman and FB to me are "so last year." I also think that as people are learning how privacy intrusive and commercial FB is, more will reduce their use of it.

Runners-up included Julian Assange, the Tea Party, Hamid Karzai and the Chilean Miners. Assange won the magazine's online poll, and Time unconvincingly explains why it chose Zuckerman instead. [More...]

As for "People Who Mattered", the list included Sarah Palin, Anwar al-Awlaki (but not the leaders of AQAP) and the cast of the Jersey Shore.

Time says:

Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is a recognition of the power of individuals to shape our world

So why no mention of the Guantanamo detainees, the Times Square bomber or the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. His failed bomb attempt was last year, but the repercussions of his act -- the proliferation of TSA body scanners -- happened this year. Don't they even deserve a mention? (As an aside, Abdulmutallab had new charges added today.)

Apparently, the task of choosing a single person or group of 20 people who represent "significance" to everyone else in the world has become futile. Since it can't be done, Time chose "safe", and made a vanilla, mayonnaise-y selection of someone who no one really cares about. Better to face apathy than anger.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Like (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 07:25:39 PM EST

    Also, apparently, based on a quick review (none / 0) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 07:15:15 PM EST
    of past people of the year, there are no women who have shaped our world. At least none since Cory Aquino was elected president of The Philipinnes back in the '80s.

    the exception would be the Tea Party (none / 0) (#3)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 07:25:20 PM EST
    (listed by J as a runner-up)

    Online polls (none / 0) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 07:24:19 PM EST

    are pure BS.  They are play things for hackers.  

    I agree (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:02:58 PM EST
    it's kind of a yesterday type of thing. He should have been named a few years ago.

    Anyway Myspace was the thing until it wasn't. It'll probably be the same thing with Facebook.

    I dunno (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:42:41 AM EST
    If you read the article, 1 in every 12 people on the planet has a Facebook account - 1 in every 4 Americans. Last month, Facebook got its 550 millionth account. That's some kind of reach and it really has changed the way we share information.

    I think it's too late for that (none / 0) (#10)
    by CST on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:43:00 AM EST
    Facebook might have reached the "too big to fail" stage - myspace never did.

    Definitely a safe pick.  But as for the timeliness of it - I think this year makes sense.  Especially with the movie that came out - and just in general there was a lot more publicity.

    I also don't think you will see much of a privacy-related user decline.  As people become smart about it, they will feel more comfortable using and controlling the site.  The people with more concern are already off it.


    One can hardly fault (none / 0) (#6)
    by SOS on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:24:13 PM EST
    the corporate shills choice of the ultimate American/corporate dream (being a billionaire before being 25) over the nightmare of an iconoclast that wants to (and can) expose the hypocrisy and lies that support this hedonistic plutocracy.

    beltway blather (none / 0) (#7)
    by diogenes on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:28:08 PM EST
    Facebook is something that affects tens of millions of Americans.  Assange and Wikileaks are creatures of the beltway.  Let a beltway magazine like The New Republic name Assange person the year.

    Right (none / 0) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 12:43:42 PM EST
    Never mind that the Beltway is the heart of the beast that actually shapes not only the US, but the entire world.

    Zuckerman isn't shaping anything, he's got a popular website people use to communicate.  Had he never been born, my life would be exactly the same and would most people's.

    Seems like you are confusing popularity with influence (what Time calls shaping).  As mentioned below, just because a lot of people shop at Amazon, it doesn't mean it's shaping our lives.  Like Facebook, the have competitors that offer near like products.

    Beck and Palin propagated a political party that had a major influence on the election.  I don't think it's a stretch to say that w/o those two, the election would have been considerably different, which will shape all American's lives considerably.

    Time has only proven it's like all present day media, driven by popularity.  Who wants to read about Karzid when they can read about the guy who created the website they visit daily.

    It's Time Magazine, not People.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Raskolnikov on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 07:31:44 PM EST
    that Facebook isn't important in shaping how we communicate, which is a huge part of how we live.  The fact that it is fundamentally altering how people keep in touch with each other, not to mention the idea of living your life in public, is enough to make it more than merely "popular" in my opinion.  YMMV, of course, but with the younger generations particularly it is a big thing not to be snickered at as just another fad.  This is a much more fundamental change in method and purpose of communication than the switch to e-mail or the use of cell-phones over landlines was.

    Zuckerman, the Serious Media's Lohan (none / 0) (#11)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 12:21:40 PM EST
    "Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is a recognition of the power of individuals to shape our world" - Time

    Please, how is Facebook shaping the world ?

    Just because a lot of people shop at Amazon, it doesn't mean Amazon is shaping the world.  Facebook is simply a tool for social interaction, but not the only tool and definitely not a tool that is shaping the world.  It's a Walkman, cool and handy, but soon to be relic.

    Time took the populist and modern day media angle.  There are a lot people who have actually shaped our world, many for the worse.  But Time chose Lohan over the filibuster in selecting Zuckerman.

    The miners (none / 0) (#13)
    by Andy08 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:20:17 PM EST
    should have won. No question in my book...

    What a coincidence! (none / 0) (#14)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 06:27:37 PM EST
    TIME topped my list of LEAST influential publications with a circulation over 200, just edging out "Snail Harvesting Quarterly."

    There is no prize for that recognition either.

    I liked Colbert's comment: (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:53:53 PM EST
    "I guess Julian Assange did not steal enough people's privacy."