Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has
edged out contenders like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and pop star Lady
Gaga for Time magazine’s 2010 “Person of the Year” honour.
In less than seven years,
Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby
creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S.
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 one another 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.
Besides making a name for himself
with Facebook, the 26-year-old billionaire has made headlines for his
philanthropy as well. In September, Zuckerberg said he was donating $100
million to Newark, N.J.’s troubled school system. (Incidentally, the gift was
announced on the same day “The Social Network” film had its premiere;
some critics said the movie portrayed the young entrepreneur in a negative
And just last week, Zuckerberg
revealed he had taken “The Giving Pledge” — an initiative put
together by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that encourages wealthy people to
give a substantial portion of their fortunes to charity.
But it’s Zuckerberg’s online
creation that nabbed him the prestigious title from Time.