Assange should be Person of Year: Time needs a pair
The majority of Time's 1.2 million readers disagree with the magazine's selection of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg instead of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
By Derek Baldwin, Business Features Reporter
Published: 00:02 December 17, 2010
Reader comments (7)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the press on December 16, 2010, as he arrives at Ellingham Hall in Ellingham, Norfolk, the home of friend and Frontline Club owner Vaughan Smith, after being released from Wandsworth Prison
Image Credit: AFP
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Dubai: Time magazine's selection of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as Person of the Year 2010 isn't sitting well with the lion's share of 1.2 million readers who voted for WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange instead.
On Wednesday, Time editors named Zuckerberg, 26, as the most important figure of the year and within hours was posting a link on Twitter explaining why they chose the Harvard dropout over Assange, who led the release this year of more than half-a-million sensitive government cables and reports to the chagrin of the US and its allies.
The Twitter link directed readers to a statement by Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel who defended the pick.
"More than anyone else on the world stage, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is at the centre of these changes. Born in 1984, the same year the Macintosh computer was launched, he is both a product of his generation and an architect of it. The social-networking platform he invented is closing in on 600 million users. In a single day, about a billion new pieces of content are posted on Facebook," Stengel said.
"It is the connective tissue for nearly a tenth of the planet. Facebook is now the third largest country on earth and surely has more information about its citizens than any government does. Zuckerberg, a Harvard dropout, is its T-shirt-wearing head of state."
Time didn't respond to a query by Gulf News on Thursday by press time.
Gulf News wanted to ask for specific details as to why Zuckerberg was chosen over Assange who placed first in the Time reader poll with 382,020 votes of a total 1.25 million votes cast compared to Zuckerberg who placed dead last in the top 10 list.
Reaction, meanwhile, was swift by readers on Time's website, including Avijit Paul who wrote, "So I guess Time has chickened out by not making Julian Assange as the person of the year. It's a shame when [Assange] was not the top when the biggest chunk of readers say he is."
Time reader Tony Castro pondered: "Wasn't Mark Zuckerberg in tenth place? I will spread this injustice like wildfire knocking your readership down to zero."
Spread widely. General Joe
PS Let’s use the net (Facebook. Twitter, etc.) to demand that Mr. Zuckerman declines the offer in favor of the real winner, Julian Assange ,Wikileaks. and net neutrality. We better or we might soon loose this important freedom, like so many others. We can do this.