Already wise to the power of the prankster, TIME is happily enjoying the free publicity as 4Chan internet trolls hijack the magazine’s “Person of the Year” voting to thrust North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to No. 1.
The magazine’s editors have already stipulated that online voting won’t make their decision for them, but this is just one way to allow the public an opportunity to participate in the journalistic process.
“As always, TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn’t mean readers shouldn’t have their say,” the voting page says.
“Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse.”
TIME will announce its top newsmaker on Dec. 14.
4Chan is a file sharing website known for its nefarious content.
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Among other crowd-sourced pranks, it also pushed the phrase “Hitler did nothing wrong” to the top of a Mountain Dew new flavor contest and influenced thousands to vote for the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in a Taylor Swift concert contest.
Swift and her sponsors didn't play the concert for the deaf kids (disqualifying the school for how it received thevotes), but did send them thousands in donations.
Merry pranksters also sent Pitbull to Alaska, although the rapper happily agreed to play a concert there for the roughly 6,000 inhabitants.
As for Kim, he had almost 3 million more votes than Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and 3.1 million more votes than young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, as of Tuesday morning.
Kim winning the online vote hasn’t yet caught the attention of the People’s Daily, which happily publicized last week that the Onion named North Korea’s supreme leader its “Sexiest Man Alive.”
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