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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2006, 03:26 GMT
'You' named Time's person of 2006
YouTube viewers watch more than 100 million videos a day on the site
"You" have been named as Time magazine's Person of the Year for the growth and influence of user-generated content on the internet.

The US magazine praised the public for "seizing the reins of the global media" and filling the web's virtual world.

Time has been giving its controversial awards since 1927, aiming to identify those who most affect the news.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chinese leader Hu Jintao and North Korea's Kim Jong-il were 2006 runners.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and rock star Bono won the accolade last year and recent winners also include President George W Bush in 2004, and "The American Soldier" in 2003.

'Wresting power'

The magazine said naming a collectivity rather than an individual reflected the way the internet was shifting the balance of power within the media through blogs, videos and social networks.

Power to people generated content
Stennatt Stennatt, Tokyo, Japan

Time cited websites such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Wikipedia, which allow users to interact with the web by uploading and publishing their own comments, videos, pictures and links.

"It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes," Time magazine's Lev Grossman writes.

Time praised the tool that made such broad collaboration possible - the web.

"It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter," Mr Grossman said.

Time aims to pick "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill".

Previous winners have often sparked controversy - including Adolf Hitler in 1938 and, in 1979, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini.

Time's editor explains the decision

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