Twerking Takes TIME: Miley Cyrus Tops TIME Person of the Year Poll
Pop star? Check. Chart topper? Check. Tabloid fire-starter? Check, check and check. Love her or hate her, Miley Cyrus has accomplished quite a bit in the past few months and now she’s aiming for an even loftier achievement: TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. While the editors of TIME will ultimately choose who gets to occupy their cover when it comes time to declare a Person of the Year, the prolific magazine has, for a couple years now, been using their website to conduct a poll to see who their readers think should be given the title.
Miley Cyrus put out a request to her twitter followers to send her straight to the top of that poll and has experienced tremendous success. Miley had a substantial lead earlier in the polling period, at one point landing in first place with a whopping 29% of the vote. While her numbers have dwindled since then, (she is currently in third place behind Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey) she remains one of four front-runners, and still has a decent chance of reclaiming the top spot.
As for why Cyrus has had such good fortune, there are two main causes. First: Twitter is a major factor. The controversial pop-star has over 15 million followers, giving her an excellent megaphone for campaigning. TIME has confirmed the effectiveness of this tactic, reporting that 95.3% of her votes have come from Twitter: more than any other candidate.
As for the second factor, most of Cyrus’ impressive numbers are actually the result of an elaborate vote rigging operation. According to The Daily Dot, the massive influx of votes for Cyrus is the handiwork of two crafty programmers who go by the aliases of Gains and Marek. Inspired by the successful rigging of previous Person of the Year polls, the team set out to ensure that someone appropriately humorous would claim the title, eventually deciding on Miley Cyrus. The technique was effective enough that Cyrus jumped from 15th to 1st place almost overnight, proving, if anything, that creating a poll on the Internet is more or less asking for shenanigans.
So while this unlikely turn of events is almost entirely the result of two snide hackers with an ironic appreciation for the licking and straddling of construction equipment, it still shows the power of a dubious reputation. Had Cyrus chosen to forego her rebellious image, she most certainly would not have drawn the attention of internet trolls. In the words of the great poet Jay-Z, “Twerk, Miley, Miley, twerk”. It seems to be working pretty well for her so far.