More enemies than friends?
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been voted the most unpopular man in Reuters

A poll of IT professionals has seen Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg voted the most unpopular person in the world of IT.

The billionaire 27-year-old, who saw his social networking site expand from a university-based concept to a world-wide phenomenon gained 19.4 percent of the vote to identify the person m,ost viewed as a "villain" in their field.

The two other biggest names in computing made the top three, with late Apple co-founder Steve jobs and Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates each gaining 14.7 percent of the vote.

The supposed rivalry between Gates and Jobs appears to be a creation of each camp of devoted fans seeking to discredit one in the favour of the other.

The survey was carried out by IT recruitment firm Greythorn, which carried out an email survey of hundred of professionals working in IT.

"Facebook has been controversial from the beginning and this has told on the reputation of its CEO," said Mark Baxter, managing director of Greythorn.

"From the shady co-founding deals done with Eduardo Saverin, to the Winklevoss litigation and the unsympathetic portrayal of Zuckerberg in "The Social Network", professionals have questioned whether Zuckerberg should take the credit he does for Facebook.

"The fact that he is considered the greatest villain in IT suggests IT professionals share some of the doubt, popularised in the movie, around the legitimacy of his taking credit for the creation of intellectual property."

Baxter argues that this uncertainty is not present around Gates and Jobs, whose popularity and unpopularity is generally defined by their fans feeling the need to compete.

"Unlike Zuckerberg, they are not tarnished by legal wrangles over ownership of their IP or unsympathetic portrayals in the media. Their ability to create ubiquitous products without the controverys that surrounds Zuckerbeg is the foundation of their popularity."

The list of heroes was not populated solely by modern IT professionals. Third place was given to Alan Turing, the World War II codebreaker, wo is considered by many to be the father of modern computer science.

The lists in full:

Top 10 IT "Villains"

1: Mark Zuckerberg - Creator of Facebook 19.4%
2: Steve Jobs - Co-founder of Apple 14.7%
3: Bill Gates - Co-founder of Microsoft 14.7%
4: Larry Ellison - Co-founder of Oracle 6.2%
5: Jack Dorsey - Creator of Twitter 5.7%
6: Shaun Fanning - Founder of Napster 5.2%
7: Sir Alan Sugar - Founder of Amstrad 5.2%
8: Jerry Yang - Co-founder of Yahoo 2.4%
9: Pierre Omidyar - Founder of eBay 1.9%
10: Sigeru Miyamato - Nintendo's Mario designer 1.9%

Top 10 IT "Heroes"

1: Bill Gates - Co-founder of Microsoft 20.6%
2: Steve Jobs - Co-founder of Apple 17.4%
3: Alan Turing - Founder of Computer Science 15.6%
4: Charles Babbage - Originated concept of programmable computer 5.5%
5: Sir Clive Sinclair - ZX Spectrum Inventor 3.7%
6: Shigeru Miyamato - Deisgner of Nintendo's Mario 2.3%
7: Larry ellison - Co-founder of Oracle 2.3%
8: Thomas J. Watson - Founder of IBM 2.3%
9: Pingala - Developed mathematical concept of binary 2.3%
10: Mark Zuckerberg - Creator of Facbook 1.8%