Today the media is buzzing about TIME magazine’s most influential person of the year, 4Chan founder Christopher Poole (AKA moot).
The 21-year-old college student topped Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Kobe Bryant, the co-founders of Twitter, Vladimir Putin and 94 other influential figures with 16,794,368 votes and an average influence rating of 90 (out of a possible 100).
TIME was surprisingly frank about the whole thing. The publication admitted that the polling might not be entirely accurate and even went as far as to say people were supposed to doubt the results. That said, the article announcing Poole’s win did endeavor to highlight the student’s influence on the internet.
“Since moot launched 4chan.org in 2003, the site has given birth to Internet memes as diverse as Lolcats and Rickrolling. 4chan averages 13 million page views a day and 5.6 million visitors a month; by some estimates it is the second largest bulletin board in the world.”
TIME goes on to point out, rigged results or not, Poole definitely has some sway online.
“For proof of Moot's influence on the web, one need look no further than the TIME 100 poll results. While Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao got a larger vote total (20,391,818), the runner-up for the title of world's most influential person, Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim, received a mere 47 on the influence scale.”
According to TIME, Poole “denies knowing about any concerted plan by his followers to influence the poll,” however, TIME did mention that its technical team did “detect and extinguish” several attempts to hack the vote.
Interesting. What’s even more interesting is this article which purports to explain exactly how the 4Chan crew hacked the vote, including how they got around TIME’s attempts to put a stop to their trickery. It makes for a pretty good read so be sure to check it out.