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.]

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

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

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.,9263,7601120116,00.html

and the ever popular…,9263,7601111205,00.html

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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

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

Michael (profile) says:


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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


( 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.


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Lets see they have boards on:
Anime,Mecha, Cosplay, Transportation, Pok?mon, 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

orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

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.

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