Just yesterday, we shared the list from Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2012, a list that included people from many different industries including business, technology, and entertainment. Some of the more notable names on this list included Tim Cook and Warren Buffet, among many others. One of the more surprising names on the list was Anonymous (#36), a notorious group of internet hackers that target the CIA and government agencies from around the world. The group prides themselves as hacker-activists.
A recent report from Courteney Palis of The Huffington Post claims that Time Magazine gave Anonymous a low final ranking despite their higher rankings on a public poll. They reported that Anonymous ranked number one the evening of April 6th (5:00 pm) with about 395,793 votes. Palis states later in the article that Anonymous was not the only one on the list that scored lower than expected. Erik Martin (manager of Reddit.com) ranked number two in the polls but ended up at number 83 in the list. Narenda Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, was third in the poll but didn’t even make the actual list.
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It’s speculated that Time Magazine purposely lowered the rankings for the final list because they suspect that someone may have rigged the votes. Given the history of Anonymous, it’s easy to see why they might speculate such an occurrence.
If you read the supplementary article written by Barton Gellman that came along with their ranking, you will see that even he questions the possibility that the group may have rigged their way up the polls.
I guess there is really no way to find out if Anonymous really had something to do with the rankings but like Gellman stated at the end of the piece, Anonymous rightfully earned their coveted spot on the list. What do you think?
Update: A spokesperson for TIME told Huffington Post that the TIME 100 list is not “ranked.” So Anonymous therefore, is not ranked at 36.