Washington, Dec 15 (PTI) Overruling an overwhelming vote by its readers for arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Facebook co-founder Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was today named as the 'Person of the Year' by the Time Magazine for"transforming" the way people connect around the world.
Zuckerberg beat out WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Assange, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the Chilean miners to become the Person of the Year 2010 by the prestigious magazine.
He joins the long annual list of eminent persons Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, which was started by the Time magazine in 1927.
Managing editor Richard Stengel said Zuckerberg's Facebook was "transforming the way we live our lives every day.""Being named as Time Person of the Year is a realhonour 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," Zuckerberg said.
Assange, currently behind bars in UK on Swedish sexual assault charges, is at the centre of a global uproar overWikiLeaks's leaking of secret US diplomatic cables.
Readers of Time magazine had voted overwhelmingly for him to be named "person of the year," followed by Lady Gaga,the US singer best known for her outlandish costumes.
The runners up chosen by Time were the conservative US Tea Party movement which made a big impact in recent midterm elections, followed by WikiLeaks founder Assange.
The Time said Zuckerberg is part of the last generation of human beings who will remember life before the
Internet, though only just. "He started Facebook as a way for people on collegecampuses to communicate with and keep track of one another -and occasionally poke each other and leer at each other'spictures - but in a broader sense he was firing the first shotin his generation's takeover of the Internet," the magazine
wrote on its website.In less than seven years, Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creatinga social entity almost twice as large as the US, the magazine
"If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest, behind only China and India. It started out as a
lark, a diversion, but it has turned into something real,something that has changed the way human beings relate to oneanother on a species-wide scale.
We are now running our social lives through a for-profit network that, on paper at least, has made
Zuckerberg a billionaire six times over," it wrote. "Facebook has merged with the social fabric of
American life, and not just American but human life: nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook account, but 70 per centof Facebook users live outside the US.It's a permanent fact of our global social reality. We have entered the Facebook age, and Mark Zuckerbergis the man who brought us here," the magazine said. PTI