Home > Freedom > Mark Zuckerberg is TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year? Where’s the “dislike” button? (FSF.org)

Mark Zuckerberg is TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year? Where’s the “dislike” button? (FSF.org)

Mark Zuckerberg is TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year? Is this because he made a bunch of money or because he gave some of it away? Where’s the majority of it still going to? What do we really value in American society these days?

Let’s get serious about our values folks: Bill Gates has made himself a model of what I call “laissez-faire-morality,” as in whatever makes him the most money is what’s right for society. So now Mark Zuckerberg is some kind of a social or humanitarian icon for following in those footsteps?

When I introduce the ideas of software freedom to my students, I point out to them that many many institutions have now fully embraced the idea that whatever makes Microsoft the most money is what’s right for society. Facebook is not far behind in influencing schools and universities. I have to actually point out to people that a culture of “illegal sharing” goes against what they learned in Kindergarten. Richard Stallman said it best:

I realized that signing this [non-disclosure] agreement was basically a promise to be a bad person

As long as we promote people like Bill Gates and Mark Suckerberg[sic] as role models (which is what Time is doing whether they admit to it or not) we will be raising conniving little thieves instead of healthy children. Am I supposed to say “Share with your brother” but then say “Don’t share software, you’ll be taking caviar out of the mouth of a really valuable member of society” to my son?

I admit that Facebook has been influential but that doesn’t make it good. Choosing Zuckerberg for such a distinction — albeit one bestowed by a private organization with its own questionable values — is a bad symptom of a society at risk. I’m hitting the Dislike button.

Not f'd — you won't find me on Facebook

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