Passport

Zuckerberg? Really?

Judging by my Twitter feed, Time has managed to tick off the entire Internet in selecting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as its "person of the year" — the youngest to earn the title since Charles Lindbergh. The magazine’s rationale: "for connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for ...

Judging by my Twitter feed, Time has managed to tick off the entire Internet in selecting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as its "person of the year" -- the youngest to earn the title since Charles Lindbergh. The magazine's rationale: "for connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives" is not likely to mollify the Twitterati, who tend to be a snobbish crowd. (Sample: "Time Magazine just named its Person of The Year 2007.")

Snark aside, it's unclear what's particularly 2010 about this pick. Facebook has been huge for a while now, and if anything, it may be headed for inevitable decline. I suppose it's a step up from 2006,when Time's editors picked "You" as its POY, citing the rise of "Web 2.0" sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, MySpace (remember that?), Second Life (ditto), and YouTube.

This year, just like in 2006, the magazine asked its readers to cast their votes, and just like in 2006, it ignored them. Back then, it was Hugo Chávez who stirred the masses (though Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the official runner-op); this year it was Julian Assange of WikiLeaks fame, who ran away with the online poll.

Judging by my Twitter feed, Time has managed to tick off the entire Internet in selecting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as its "person of the year" — the youngest to earn the title since Charles Lindbergh. The magazine’s rationale: "for connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives" is not likely to mollify the Twitterati, who tend to be a snobbish crowd. (Sample: "Time Magazine just named its Person of The Year 2007.")

Snark aside, it’s unclear what’s particularly 2010 about this pick. Facebook has been huge for a while now, and if anything, it may be headed for inevitable decline. I suppose it’s a step up from 2006,when Time‘s editors picked "You" as its POY, citing the rise of "Web 2.0" sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, MySpace (remember that?), Second Life (ditto), and YouTube.

This year, just like in 2006, the magazine asked its readers to cast their votes, and just like in 2006, it ignored them. Back then, it was Hugo Chávez who stirred the masses (though Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the official runner-op); this year it was Julian Assange of WikiLeaks fame, who ran away with the online poll.

I suppose we’ll now be treated to a dreadfully predictable debate about whether Time wimped out by not choosing Assange, and maybe those crazy Anonymous hackers will seek revenge on Time‘s servers. I’m sure the magazine’s editors will embrace the discussion in any event: Controversy sells.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration of a captain's hat with a 1980s era Pepsi logo and USSR and U.S. flag pins.

The Doomed Voyage of Pepsi’s Soviet Navy

A three-decade dream of communist markets ended in the scrapyard.

Demonstrators with CASA in Action and Service Employees International Union 32BJ march against the Trump administration’s immigration policies in Washington on May 1, 2017.

Unionization Can End America’s Supply Chain Crisis

Allowing workers to organize would protect and empower undocumented immigrants critical to the U.S. economy.

The downtown district of Wilmington, Delaware, is seen on Aug. 19, 2016.

How Delaware Became the World’s Biggest Offshore Haven

Kleptocrats, criminals, and con artists have all parked their illicit gains in the state.