Hivemind Elects Dictator! 4chan Pushes Kim Jong-Un To Top Of TIME 'Person Of The Year' Poll

from the when-a-system-comes-along,-you-must-game-it dept

At this point, TIME Magazine is probably starting to feel like the unwilling straight man in a comedy duo. Its "partner," 4chan, stormed the Person of the Year poll a few years back, battling a belated and hastily instituted CAPTCHA system in order to place its father figure, moot, at the top of the chart. Motivated by streaming porn and its pure love for trolling, 4chan went above and beyond, reordering the selections to spell out "MARBLECAKE ALSO THE GAME."

Emerging into the sunlight, bleary-eyed, triumphant, and jaded to all but the most deviant porn, 4chan soon returned to its normal mode of being highly inscrutable and incredibly frightening, resurfacing occasionally to perform such minor miracles as sending Taylor Swift off to perform a concert at a school for the deaf.

4chan has returned to the limelight once again to torment reluctant sidekick TIME by voting early and often in its own particular idiom (read: bots, prolly) for Person of the Year. And the winner is none other than North Korean dictator and poster boy for evil, nepotism and ill-fitting grey smocks, Kim Jong-un. Here' a portion of Time's statement on the poll results, which is good naturedly resigned, much in the way parents raising child 7+ are more concerned with keeping the cleaning products, bandages and fire extinguisher close at hand than preventing the feat of daredevilry that is currently being performed using Sharpies, a purloined Zippo and the second floor bannister.
Kim Jong Un is having a good year. After taking over the leadership of North Korea from his late father Kim Jong Il, at the end of 2011, he's solidified his control over the country, appeared on TIME's cover and he was even named "Sexiest Man Alive." (OK, that honor was actually bestowed as a spoof in the satirical newspaper, The Onion, but a Chinese news service mistook the Onion piece for real news and the story went global.)

Now, he's gotten the most votes in TIME's completely unscientific reader Person of the Year Poll with 5.6 million votes. Not bad for a man who didn't make an official public appearance until 2010.
Sharp-eyed readers will notice that TIME takes time to point out the "unscientificness" of an easily gamed polling system. This is another sign of resignation, as the lesson learned from 4chan's first chart coup was that a determined band of anonymous users can easily defeat CAPTCHA systems, especially those as weak as the one deployed by TIME only after it realized that installing nothing at all was a bit like doxxing yourself in a 4chan thread: ill-advised to say the least.

TIME also points out that The Editors will be picking the correct Person of the Year, thank you very much. But the note does go out of its way to acknowledge the hive mind behind the dictator at the top of the list.
"The Daily Show" funny man Jon Stewart, Undocumented Immigrants, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and Burmese leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, all made it into the top ten. However, some of the highest vote tallies got a boost from members of Internet forums like 4Chan who launched a campaign to manipulate the results pushing North Korea's supreme leader to the top of the list.
If the names listed seem like a rather strange group to be reaching the upper echelon of TIME's poll, it's because simply pushing Kim Jr. to the top is TOO EASY. The secondary objective was another phrase -- KJU GAS CHAMBERS-- using the initial letter of the nominees' names. Yes, 4chan is all about the inappropriate humor. And anagrams.

So, as TIME prepares to put this year "to bed," its readers can rest well knowing the benevolent smile (and collectivist haircut) of Kim Jong-un will be shining down upon them.

[Jong-un could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman who wished to remain anonymous, alive and un-re-educated stated that the world's most popular dictator was so pleased with the results that he launched a celebratory missile before returning solemnly to his desk to file away the latest UN resolution condemning his actions. The spokesman noted that he did catch a small hint of a smile tugging at the corners of Kim Jong-un's perfect and infallible mouth.]


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:33am

    Looks like TIME lost this game.

    And now, so have you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 3:59am

    Time, flailing to stay relevant, runs another "public" poll hoping that 4Chan will get them press coverage so people will remember they exist.

    Maybe if they worked on being relevant again.

    http://www.dvafoto.com/2012/02/jon-stewart-slams-time-magazine-and-pellegrins-cover-image/

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601120116,00.html

    and the ever popular...
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601111205,00.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 4:32am

    Perhaps this means the end of news services running online polls. News services insist on running them and then presenting the results as news items. The obligatory "unscientific" disclaimer does not get them off the hook for how utterly worthless these polls are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Paul Renault (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 4:32am

    So there's still a chance..

    ..that Bradley Manning will be selected? Or is it safe to assume that Times has no cohones?

    /Yes, it's a rhetorical question. I already know the answer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 4:50am

    Re:

    If by "lost" you mean won, then yes - apparently they increased page views which iirc leads to increased revenue .... amirite?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 4:52am

    TIME

    You do have to give TIME some credit. They are either completely technologically incompetent when it comes to securing a poll, or they are brilliant at online marketing and are using these failures to boost their readership.

    Even if they (as is most likely) fall on the incompetent side of things, they have not gone ballistic and reacted stupidly. They continue to simply take their lumps and move on. I can picture lots of companies screaming about violation of CFAA and trying to get the authorities involved.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 4:55am

    Re: So there's still a chance..

    Just from reading the news, I get the impression that it is totally cool to launder shit loads of drug money and help fund terrorists - but if you blow a whistle by revealing some low level almost worthless information then you had better be prepared for the gulag torture train.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 5:00am

    'The spokesman noted that he did catch a small hint of a smile tugging at the corners of Kim Jong-un's perfect and infallible mouth.'

    doubt it. i think he had a touch of wind!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 5:04am

    When I see an online poll, I always remember the "fine print" in Slashdot polls:

    "This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane."

    Either TIME is insane or the poll itself doesn't matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 5:08am

    If 4chan is so powerful, let's see them do something about gun control laws.

    Until that day, fuck them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    Wow - waddadumbass

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re:

    Obviously that AC has no idea who the anons at 4Chan are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 5:53am

    At least he is a well known figure with a reason other than fame for being famous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Re:

    You know the old saying "With great power comes great responsibility"?

    4Chan does not subscribe to that notion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 6:16am

    So, hope you'll also not the recent bit of Christmas Joy that Anon's given the Westboro Baptist Church today, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 6:23am

    Youtube: Patent on "Long Tail" for automated content authorship.
    Could we use ACC (Automated Content Creation) to DOX the supreme leader?

    Quote:
    (Phys.org)—English majors might warm to the question of what they want to be when they graduate. Author? OK. Writer? Fine. Master Compiler? Hmm. "Master Compiler" is not a familiar career path to English majors, but it might describe the unique work of INSEAD professor Philip M. Parker. He has a patented system for algorithmically compiling data into book form. He has brought the automatically generated books into the mainstream with Amazon listing over 100,000 books attributed to Parker, and over 700,000 works listed for his company, ICON Group International. According to reports, a separate entity, EdgeMaven Media, in addition, provides applications for businesses to create their own computer made content. The organizations pay for this service to compile data for their reports.

    Source: http://phys.org/news/2012-12-insead-prof-credit.html

    If the program can write 800.000 books in just a few years, by searching databases and collecting information about subjects in much the same way a search engine crawls the web this could probably be used to shed some light on the beloved North Korean leader.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Frankly I find it silly that 4chan is connected with porn so much through the article- there are plenty of non-porn reasons to go to 4chan.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    Such as...?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 7:09am

    NO.... Our Glorious Leader Won


    I was glad to be a part of Our Glorious Leader's success.

    Still pissed that we picked Sheldon Adelson, for last "S" instead of Sandra Fluke....but...meh....was still fun.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re:

    Getting an update on the current trends of Internet memes?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re:

    Lets see they have boards on:
    Anime,Mecha, Cosplay, Transportation, Pokémon, Video Games, Comics & Cartoons, Technology, Television & Film, Weapons, Auto, Animals & Nature, Traditional Games, Sports, Science & Math, Papercraft & Origami, Photography, Food & Cooking, Artwork/Critique, Wallpapers, Music, Fashion, Toys, 3DCG, Do-It-Yourself, Travel, Health & Fitness, Paranormal, Literature, Advice, Pony.. to name but a few

    Oh and RULE 34 of ALL of the above!!!

    Sort of like Reddit when you think of it... hmmm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Crud.. the cookie theives stole my signin.. This AC comment was mine

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 7:32am

    don't ruin it please.

    That would be a disaster.

    How else can we fuck with FoxNews viewers ?
    eg... (One of many)
    FoxNews ran an "outraged story" for a few days about how awful it was for schools to go behind parents backs and encourage kids to have butt sex, whatever.

    Of course the poll was 99% with the FoxNews propaganda machines narrative. TiL ..........ooops
    we accidentally the vote that was on the foxnews home page
    http://polldaddy.com/poll/6557149/?view=results&msg=voted


    Online polls are 100% accurate *wink* *wink* OK ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I was trying to imagine rule 34 for the "Science & Math" category...and then I remembered this:

    https://xkcd.com/563/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because you were ignoring rule 35?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    The state of the country is beyond screwed if your turning to 4Chan to save you instead of your elected leaders.

    Lemme guess you voted for american idol but skipped your local election.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You guys pass way to much time on 4chan LoL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Dec 17th, 2012 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    http://geekhideout.net/post/16964748377

    muwahahahahahahaha

    NSFMG - Not Safe for Maths Geeks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 12:09am

    All online polls are meaningless and frequently gamed (sometimes by people who do it exactly because polls are meaningless).

    The Time poll is bad from the start, as they are asking for the "person" who most had an effect (read: "got the most news coverage"). Do we see the circular nature of this idea?

    At root, does not Time's Person of the Year shtick seem quite arbitrary and pointless? If something is big news (you know, big and hot enough for Time to notice), then why not just print the damned news, preferably using actual journalistic skills, fact-checking, and some integrity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 12:40am

    Re: Re:

    power, (litterally influencing others) and a yearly on-line poll that has never been actual influenced anything; dont mix

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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