Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, named Time's Person of the Year 2010

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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2010.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010; 12:11 PM

Time magazine has named Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO their Person of the Year 2010. As Hayley Tsukayama reported:

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.

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."

As Melissa Bell explained, the online vote for Person of the Year was won handily by Julian Assange, but the prize was given to the Facebook founder instead:

Despite Julian Assange handily winning the online vote, the editors of Time opted for Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, as their person of the year. The editor's letter said, "There is an erosion of trust in authority, a decentralizing of power and at the same time, perhaps, a greater faith in one another," and that Zuckerberg is at the center of these changes.

In perhaps an attempt to quell any anger from Assange supporters, the editor's letter compares the two men, calling them "two sides of the same coin."

While Assange attacks big institutions and governments through involuntary transparency with the goal of disempowering them, Zuckerberg enables individuals to voluntarily share information with the idea of empowering them. Assange sees the world as filled with real and imagined enemies; Zuckerberg sees the world as filled with potential friends.

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