The Internet is voting for Time’s 100 most influential people of the year, and the current leader can’t possibly be a surprise. Reddit is the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet,” after all, and boasts more than 2 billion pageviews a month. How fitting that Erik Martin, the site’s general manager, is absolutely crushing the competition.
Martin is sitting comfortably on more than 116,000 “Yes,” votes, easily beating out competitors like second-place Ron Paul (about 37,000 votes), fourth place Anonymous (22,619 votes), and fifth place Benedict Cumberbatch (the Sherlock Holmes actor has about 18,000 votes)
Martin got a quite boost from Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian and former Reddit chief Christopher Slowe, who posted the Time link to Reddit’s million strong r/technology section and 120,000 strong r/offbeat section, respectively.
“Finally, a Time person of the year candidate that we can believe in!” Slowe wrote.
So what does Martin think of being the most important person in the world?
“Absurd,” Martin told the Daily Dot in an email. He added: “I hope Cumberbatch doesn't have me killed.”
We could be cynical and say the poll is just a publicity stunt designed to get traffic from places like, say, Reddit (or as SteelChicken put it so eloquently in the r/technology thread: “Time doesn't give a fuck about opinion polls, they just want the web traffic”).
Time’s editors have the final say in who actually makes the Time 100, but it promises that the winner of the Web poll will make the list when voting ends on April 6. There’s really no need to make that promise. We know Time can’t ignore those 116,000 votes.
Or that beard.