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500 People Commented on Mark's Status

Lev Grossman's article on Mark Zuckerberg as Person of the Year was informative and fascinating [Dec. 27--Jan. 3]. I have thoroughly enjoyed my Facebook time and reconnecting with old friends. Yet we also have a fundamental need for intimate relationships, in which trust allows us to let down our guard, resolve conflict while making eye contact and reveal the worst of ourselves. My fear for members of the younger generation is that they do not recognize both needs and will find themselves very lonely.

Sharon S. Fagin, CLEVELAND

At a recent meeting I attended, we were all asked how we used Facebook. The results surprised me at the time: avid users were not necessarily tech types but folks who tended to be more social in real life. At the end of the day, Facebook is just another way to connect. It is not meant to replace any existing social avenues but rather to provide a richer social experience.

Pisharath Krishnan, MASON, OHIO

Ultimately, it may well be that Zuckerberg will be remembered most for desensitizing us to the value of personal privacy to the point that personal liberty and freedom are irreparably damaged.

Bruce Jamison, ALAMO, CALIF.

At first, I thought Zuckerberg was a lame choice. As I read your article, however, I realized how globally significant he has become. The fact that 70% of Facebook users are outside the U.S., that 1 in 12 people uses the site, that users speak 75 languages--I'm impressed that you were able to look deeper into Facebook and Zuckerberg and convince a skeptic like me of his achievements. Keep up the good work.

Tyler Hall, HIGHLANDS RANCH, COLO.

A Painful Farewell

Re your obit for Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah [Dec. 27--Jan. 3]: I think TIME readers would like to know how you made the decision to honor with a farewell the man the U.S. considers responsible for the 1983 bombings in Beirut in which 241 U.S. Marines and other service members and 58 French paratroopers were killed.

Martin Cohn, BRATTLEBORO, VT.

It can be said of many who committed crimes against humanity that they were intellectual pioneers and tireless organizers. But such people usually are (and should be) remembered for the sorrow they caused thousands of people. Writer Thanassis Cambanis apparently doesn't consider the hatred and violence sanctioned by Fadlallah to be worth more than a passing mention. Soft-spoken and gracious hosting by an imam murderer does not make him any less a murderer.

Jonathan Lipsky, BET SHEMESH, ISRAEL

In Defense of WikiLeaks

After its condemnation and harassment of Julian Assange, the U.S. is looking more and more like the oppressive governments that we supposedly condemn ["The Short List," Dec. 27--Jan. 3]. If senior officials of our government can out--or at least not prevent the outing of--one of our own CIA operatives, then the small potatoes that Assange released shouldn't bother us a bit. If our government didn't want those supposed secrets discovered, it should have been smarter about its databases. Even I know all my e-mails can be read.

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