anon time poll

Anonymous tops "Time" poll

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The Internet has cast its vote in Time’s 100 poll, and the most influential person of the year is— drum roll please—hacktivist collective Anonymous.

Typically identified with Guy Fawkes masks, Anonymous has been making headlines since 2008 for its protests of various causes, carried out physically with picket signs or on the Web with DDoS attacks and hacks. The collective has been a constant presence on the national and global level, leading some of the most high-profile data breaches of the past few years and supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Anonymous beat out Reddit’s general manager Erik Martin with a total of 395,793 votes. (Martin previously endorsed Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.)

However, Mashable questioned the legitimacy of those numbers, citing the “14,000 votes per hour” and the jump from “40,000 votes ... midday Thursday to more than 380,000 votes by midday Friday” as suspicious.

Anonymous has denied the Mashable claim, even going so far as to call it “rubbish” in a tweet. YourAnonNews, which tweeted the denial, has more than half a million twitter followers alone, so it is possible that the collective gathered 395,793 votes while the poll was open.

Will Anonymous grace the cover of Time’s annual issue, to be released April 17? That’s ultimately up to the magazine’s editors.

Regardless, the win is an impressive feat for Anonymous, especially in light of the last time hackers took part in the poll.

In 2009,  Internet pranksters hacked the poll and crowned 4chan founder Christopher “moot” Poole as the most influential person and displayed the message “marblecake also the game.”  

Photo by Patrick Subotkiewie