Yesterday TIME revealed its ninth annual TIME 100, which lists the 100 most influential people in the world, “the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world.” Apple CEO Tim Cook was named to the 2012 TIME 100 list of breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders and icons. The Web picked Anonymous as the winner of Time magazine’s 2012 poll for the most influential person. That wasn’t enough though, as Time still placed Anonymous at number 36 overall. Time’s 2012 poll closed last week, and as you can see in the screenshot above, Anonymous was the clear winner with 395,793 positive votes, over 100,000 vote’s more than second place. You can see the full poll results here: The 2012 TIME 100 Poll.
Managing Editor Rick Stengel writes:
The TIME 100 list is about the infinite possibilities of influence and the power of influence to change the world…. Before microphones and television were invented, a leader had to stand in front of a crowd and bellow. Now [one] can tweet a phrase that reaches millions in a flash. Influence was never easier—or more ephemeral. Which is why we try to choose those people whose influence is both lasting and, with a few notable exceptions, laudable.
Here’s how Time described the group:
United, if at all, by a taste for shock humor and disdain for authority, this leaderless Internet hive brain is plundering and playing in the electronic networks of an ever shifting enemies list: Arab dictatorships, the Vatican, banking and entertainment firms, the FBI and CIA, the security firm Stratfor and even San Francisco’s BART transport system. Did Anonymous fix the TIME 100 poll? “Depends who you think is smarter, a global collective of highly skilled hackers or the TIME IT department,” says one fellow traveler, anonymously. Anonymous earned its place on the list, one way or the other.