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Anorak | What Time Magazine’s Person of the Year Says About Corporate Media

What Time Magazine’s Person of the Year Says About Corporate Media

by | 15th, December 2010

ON the 14th of December it was reported that Julian Assange had overwhelmingly won the “people’s choice” person of the year via Time Magazine’s website.  On December 15th, the magazine announced that they have named Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook,  Person of the Year (Zuckerberg was 10th for People’s Choice), writes J. Smith.

Time chose an interesting way to lead the story, a discussion about “privacy”:

“On the afternoon of Nov. 16, 2010, Mark Zuckerberg was leading a meeting in the Aquarium, one of Facebook’s conference rooms, so named because it’s in the middle of a huge work space and has glass walls on three sides so everybody can see in. Conference rooms are a big deal at Facebook because they’re the only places anybody has any privacy at all, even the bare minimum of privacy the Aquarium gets you. Otherwise the space is open plan: no cubicles, no offices, no walls, just a rolling tundra of office furniture. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, who used to be Lawrence Summers’ chief of staff at the Treasury Department, doesn’t have an office. Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and co-founder and presiding visionary, doesn’t have an office.”

Facebook has struggled with privacy issues since it’s inception and most recently, December 7th, “Security watchers have warned that Facebook’s latest revamp will create the tendency to expose more user information.” John Leydon from The Register also notes:

Although it has never admitted as much, more detailed user information in profiles make Facebook a more attractive platform for advertisers; hence Facebook’s direction of travel is always towards encouraging users to share more with a wider pool of people.

Facebook also has been buddying up to congress, from the Seattle Times:

“The company started to woo members of Congress in 2007, when its first D.C. employee, Adam Conner, then a 23-year-old congressional staffer, was hired to teach elected officials and their staffs how to use the site.  This year, almost every candidate for the House and Senate used Facebook to reach voters, according to spokesman Andrew Noyes.”

Sara Forden, of Bloomberg News reports:

In June 2010 Facebook hired Marne Levine to head its D.C. office. Levine is a former top aide to Larry Summers, director of President Obama’s National Economic Council. The new hires would bring Facebook’s Washington team to eight, up from zero three years ago.[…]In addition to Sparapani, Conner and Levine, D.C. staffers include former FTC commissioner Mozelle Thompson.

This is all in stark contrast to the people’s choice, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks. Assange has not buddied up to the US Government or been called anyone’s “privacy hero”.  What Assange has done is transform the way news is reported in the World and exposed grave injustices by the US Government.  Assange and WikiLeaks has shone a light on that fact that what you put on computers is not private (I would argue that paper is the same).  Assange has not become a billionaire, he is not selling advertising on the WikiLeaks website.  He is not helping companies target us based on our photos and friends likes and dislikes.

In fact, Assange and WikiLeaks, by releasing information, have been exposing the role of corporations in our lives.  Unintentionally, Assange’s life has also highlighted the direct link between corporations such as MasterCard and Paypal and the US government.

Assange said:

“We now know that Visa, MasterCard and PayPal are instruments of US foreign policy. It’s not something we knew before.

“I can use Visa and Mastercard to pay for porn and support anti-abortion fanatics, Prop 8 homophobic bigots, and the Ku Klux Klan,” Jeff Javis noted at The Huffington Post. “But I can’t use them or PayPal to support Wikileaks, transparency, the First Amendment, and true government reform. Just saying.”

Zuckerberg and Assange: two internet personalities – two very different goals: World domination through advertising, or  freedom of information and open government.

READJulian Assange And A Broken Condom ‘Rape’ In Sweden: A Timeline Of Events

READWikileaks Killed 1300 People And Counting



Posted: 15th, December 2010 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink