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Posted at 8:24 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Mark Zuckerberg: Time's Person of the Year 2010

By Hayley Tsukayama

Time magazine named Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year for 2010. Zuckerberg, 26, owns about a quarter of Facebook's shares and is, to quote Time, "a billionaire six times over."

After pledging earlier this year to give $100 million to the Newark, N.J., school system, Zuckerberg last week joined the Giving Pledge--the effort led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett to convince some of the country's richest to give away most of their wealth. Others that have joined the campaign include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, media titan Barry Diller, CNN founder Ted Turner and filmmaker George Lucas.

Zuckerberg joins President Obama, Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and "You" as those who have been named Time's Person of the Year.

On his Facebook page, Zuckerberg on Wednesday commented that "Being named as Time Person of the Year is a real honor and recognition of how our little team is building something that hundreds of millions of people want to use to make the world more open and connected. I'm happy to be a part of that."

What do you think of the choice?

Related stories:
Five myths about Facebook

Facebook's Zuckerberg joins Gates, Buffett in charity pledge

By Hayley Tsukayama  | December 15, 2010; 8:24 AM ET
Categories:  Social media  
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A close call between MZ and JA, and Time chose the safer course. Would love to hear the internal discussion that took place. Maybe JA can come up with it once he's sprung.

Posted by: wullman1 | December 15, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

TIME caved.

Posted by: justsit | December 15, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Zuckerberg got the movie, Assange didn't.

Posted by: jimward21 | December 15, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Have any of the "Giving Pledge" folks actually done it? Or have they just "pledged" to do it, thus getting credit for an altruistic act that hasn't actually happened?

Posted by: nadie1 | December 15, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Time is playing it too safe. Julian Assange, the Tea Party Movement and Kim Jong-Il had a far more profound impact on 2010, but they're just too polarizing for Time's comfort zone and would probably piss off at least half of Time's readership. The only ones who will hate this choice are the guys who are running MySpace!

Posted by: Opencity1 | December 15, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Time has proven time and again that they bet on the wrong horse. Facebook will be off the map within 24 months, much like MySpace, but probably not before Zuckey does his IPO and leaves thousands of wannabe internet investors holding the bag.

Posted by: Rawuzi | December 15, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Zuckerberg joins President Obama, Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and "You" as those who have been named Time's Person of the Year.
Hitler and Stalin were in there too, if I recall correctly.

500 Million DF's can't be wrong ...

Posted by: gannon_dick | December 15, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

TIME Jumped the Shark years ago. This selection is a complete joke. Julian Assange is the obvious choice. Perhaps TIME is afraid of offending advertisers or the government.

Posted by: rickleask | December 15, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

MZ is a putz. He got in at the right time with someone else concepts and ideas. He's given us something we really don't need that only helps to break down direct interpersonal relationships. We are now just a bunch voyeurs sitting in our PJ, butt glued to a chair instead of living out in the world. And he has helped that along.

Posted by: JorgeGortex | December 15, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Seriously? Facebook? It is a novelty. Fun, empty calories but it is not going to "change the world" in any meaningful way except to suck up hours of peoples time better spent on other things.
Why not just nominate "television" while your at it, Time.

Posted by: B-rod | December 15, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

TIME Magazine is still in business???

Who knew?

Posted by: pgr88 | December 15, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Time caved in to the US Government on this one just like Visa, MasterCard, Amazon and the rest. Julian Assange certainly deserved the honor, but pressure form the Justice Department forced them opt for second best.

Posted by: pcarlson1 | December 15, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Cute. Guess the Miley Cyrus camp couldn't get out the vote.

Posted by: Guerra1 | December 15, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Time magazine has no guts to choose Julian Assange because he is too controversial.

That's always mainstream media's attitude. They are the filter of the truth and they tend to be timid and hypocritical, occupying in the middle, not to offend anybody. This makes Julian Assange's presence even more remarkable.

Julian Assange is a revoluntionary visionary created by this Internet age. He is the embodiment of the changing world with a disruptive power.

It is too bad that he is not the 2010 person of the year.

Posted by: wenmay2002 | December 15, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing to me that Time Magazine would defy its readers and choose Mark Zuckerberg over Julian Assange for 2010 man of the year. After all who buys its magazine and looks at its advertising? To choose a social networking freak over the protector of Free Speech, by one of the leaders in the news print industry, defies all logic. The one issue that allows Time, to print its content without fear of reprisal, is obviously not as important to its publishers as one would think. As for me, I have purchased my final issue of Time last week. Which by the way, had the real man of the year on the cover. I will now move to more non traditional sources for my news. Time has once again shown its readers, that its integrity is in question, as its publishers choose the all mighty dollar over the most cherished principle of a wavering democracy.

Posted by: citizenoftherepublic1 | December 15, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I stopped reading Time a long while ago.

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | December 15, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

This is just another example of the coarsening of American "culture". Time Magazine has joined the flip-flops generation. Didn't it used to purport to be a news magazine?

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | December 15, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Oprah died...?

Posted by: gpsman | December 15, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, I see little redeeming value in Facebook, posting pictures, sending messages and posting on someone's wall.... well, not a big deal.
Time should have selected someone else. But Assange is not the answer. This man is a criminal, like it or not, it's against the law to publish classified documents and puts you at risk. Our Government workers make the best (and responsible) decisions they can to protect our civil liberties. If you don't like then campaign for reform.
Might as well select Bernie Madoff as man of the year for pulling off the biggest criminal heist of the decade.

Posted by: Gorik | December 15, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Like the Nobel peace prize, this is a meaningless distinction.

Posted by: kbarker302 | December 15, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the camp that has decidedly mixed feelings about Assange, but this was so laughably a copout on Time's part. Just pure cowardice.

They are now basically People magazine. Congrats on the makeover, guys.

Posted by: B2O2 | December 15, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

COLBERT NATION! Jon Stewart. Time really missed its chance to respond to the Rally and Colbert and Stewart's political relevance.

Posted by: rubicon24 | December 15, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party is clearly the "person" of the year.

Julian Assange is a nobody, and Facebook hasn't done anything this year that it didn't do the year before (except crappy upgrades).

But I couldn't care less about Time, so I couldn't care less about who they choose. Just shows how out of touch they are.

(which is ironic, since this pick was clearly designed to show them as "in touch" and "on the pulse"; yeah, you failed Time.)

Posted by: etpietro | December 15, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that there are NO positive comments about the choice. I do think the number of folks on FaceBook in such a short amount of time is mindboggling. We'll see how it develops over the years and if the company can keep adapting FaceBook to meet the yet unknown needs of the future.

Posted by: golfproperties | December 15, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Good thing he made the list this year - Manka Bros. is set to launch a (self-described) "Facebook Killer" in 2011 (code name: Caligula)

Posted by: jill_kennedy | December 15, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what one thinks of Zuckerberg, Facebook and whatever comes after it will continue to influence the lives of hundreds of millions of people, long after Assange is forgotten in his cell.

Posted by: qwertyuiop2 | December 15, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

So what.

Posted by: 809212876 | December 15, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Lula got the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics for Brazil, and he convinced Iran to submit their nuclear program to international oversight... NO!!!! Too close to Iran and Venezuela!!!

Angela Merkel leads the only advanced nation with decent economic performance, and has skillfully managed to keep Europe afloat... NO!!! Too boring!!!

Julian Assange exposed lots of governments' dirty stuff... NO!!! Time doesn't want to offend Uncle Sam!!!

Sucker-berg sells internet surfers' private information to merchants. Yes!!! He's Time's man!!!

Posted by: jdsolano | December 15, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

They chose Zuckerberg because it was a easy, non controversial choice while choosing Assange would have required guts. It is all about putting the face of someone popular enough to sell covers. Ironically, that is what Facebook is all about...popularity. With Zuckerberg winning, I guess it mean bigger things for Facebook, there was a poll this morning about what the TIME award means for Facebook's future. I'm guessing that there will be a google v facebook battle over my personal data.

Posted by: ElsieW1n | December 15, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

2010 was Palin's year for certain, but maybe Time believes she has another year ahead of her somewhere. Without question, the TEA party and Palin had a greater impact on American life than anyone or anything else.

For those who don't like conservatives, remember that the qualification for Person of the Year is the impact, not whether anyone agrees with the politics. That's also why the annual cover has included people like Hitler.

And the Facebook guy is in a lawsuit over actual ownership of the company.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

We need to have an internet award for "biggest farce of the year". Time has really jumped the shark this time. Assange was robbed, and Time might be Anonymous' next target.

We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. Visit for details.

Posted by: zf123 | December 15, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

It's better than that retarded "mirror" they put on the cover that one year: "Everybody's Person of the Year! Yayyyyyyyyy!"

Posted by: ComfortablyDumb | December 15, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

A billionaire wins during a Depression.

How thoughtful.

Posted by: petesnydero | December 15, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

An absolutely horrible choice! TIME magazine should be ashamed of themselves. Brad Pitt has done more to help people in New Orleans. Big deal Zuckerberg gave a bunch of $$ for New Jersey schools. Brad puts his efforts and labor toward making life better for folks.

Posted by: rmarinko | December 15, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mooncusser | December 15, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman told Time not to choose Assange.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 15, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I think if you would pick some one other than Assange to show the influence of the Internet on the world and the powers that be, you might want to choose the Iranian girl Neda. The images of her death exposed what was going on in Iran minutes after it happened and no one could stop it.

Posted by: Xaffax | December 15, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the majority of the folks--what a joke.
Very sad, so many others have contributed far more than MZ to the welfare of the planet this year.

If you listen to Time's reporter on MZ being named Person of the Year his reasoning is pretty lame, it's all about numbers, not quality or content.
And we wonder why Amercia is obese and stupid.

Posted by: yellowstoned | December 15, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Just so long as we can ALL RECOGNIZE that a nation's secrets do NOT belong on FACEBOOK or any other public site.

There seems to be some REAL SERIOUS CONFUSION today about TREASONOUS actions vs. personal disclosures.

Posted by: | December 15, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Mark has done more to evolve our society than dumb dabamma..he deserves it!

Posted by: cleverdave1 | December 16, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

Wonderful! We need MORE rich people to be generous and join organizations like the Giving Pledge.

Posted by: gsehgal | December 16, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

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