The public poll by Time Magazine on the most influential person in 2012 has come up with an unexpected winner — internet campaign activism front Anonymous. The group beat politicians, sportsmen, and Louis C.K. to the top of the list, though allegations of foul play suggest that all might not be as it seems. Mashable reports that Anonymous was gathering votes at a rate of around 14,000 an hour, taking it from 40,000 on midday Thursday to 380,000 by midday Friday, something that a supporter of Gujarati Chief Minister Narendra Modi (who eventually placed third) saw as unlikely. Anonymous was dismissive of the allegations:
This @mashable article on the #Time100 vote is complete rubbish. ALMOST as bad as the WSJ's NSA fearmongering article | on.mash.to/HVNMSK— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) April 6, 2012
Anonymous also fits well following Time's feature on "the protester" in December last year. However, it does highlight how potentially unreliable internet polls can be. Notably, Reddit general manager Erik Martin came second, meaning that what should be an internet popularity contest might be more accurately seen as a ranking of who's better at gaming poll results. Ultimately, none of this matters: the poll has no weighting on the final list, which will be judged by Time's editors and published on the 17th of April.