And the Winner of TIME’s Person of the Year Reader Poll Is …

With 5.6 million votes, one candidate emerged on top out of a field that included everyone from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to South Korean singer Psy

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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 solidified his control over the country, appeared on TIME’s cover and was even named Sexiest Man Alive. (O.K., that honor was actually bestowed as a spoof in satirical newspaper the Onion, but a Chinese news service mistook the piece for real news and the story went global.)

Now he has ranked first in TIME’s completely unscientific Person of the Year reader poll, with 5.6 million votes. Not bad for a man who didn’t make an official public appearance until 2010.

This doesn’t mean Kim is TIME’s Person of the Year. That choice is made by the editors of TIME, and will be revealed Dec. 19 on the Today show, on TIME.com and via TIME’s Twitter handle. The poll allows readers to weigh in on the people — and things (hello, Curiosity rover!) — who they think influenced the news, for better or worse, in 2012.

“While we don’t make our selection based on the poll results,” says TIME executive editor Radhika Jones, “it’s always interesting to see where some of our preferred candidates end up.” (For more on how TIME editors choose the Person of the Year, see a Q&A with Jones.)

The Daily Show funny man Jon Stewart, Undocumented Immigrants, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, 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 10. However, some of the highest vote tallies got a boost from members of Internet forums like 4Chan, which launched a campaign to manipulate the results, pushing North Korea’s leader to the top of the list.

The largest number of “no way” votes went to Morsi. Despite his unfavorable ranking, his inclusion on the poll elicited a flurry of passionate responses via social media, as did TIME’s Dec. 10 Morsi cover story and exclusive interview.

Other notable inclusions prompted plenty of online chatter, even if they didn’t result in a top ranking: Pakistani schoolgirl and girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for her outspoken activism, placed 15th; South Korean pop star Psy, creator of “Gangnam Style” and the most watched video in YouTube history, placed 17th.

493 comments
cheryl201
cheryl201

62,611,250 people agree.  Good choice!

John1879
John1879

President Obama is the only person to have been awarded Person of the Year twice.  If he were elected by Time subscribers, I understand as they are purportedly mainly liberal Democrat.  But in light of all of the deserving people on this planet it is shameful.  President Obama has surpassed FDR, Gandhi, and Churchill as they only got it once.   And here is a person that was awarded it the first time just after he was elected in 2008, and did nothing.  It is similiar to the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded by the socialist Nobel Committee, when asked, for nothing other than some things he might do in the future.  It is not President Obama's fault that he got this award a second time, but the fault of Time's poor biased management.

Marline819
Marline819

It appears many of you have not read the article.  The Person of The Year will not be released until Dec 19.  The first paragraph was from an earlier hoax... read and comprehend !

lordofthefly
lordofthefly

Aw shucky darn. I thought Petraeus and Honey Boo Boo would make the shortlist. They are both short, and in a couple of years he could date her.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

I'm sorry, but you Time readers who voted for Kim Jong Un are poorly informed idiots.

Do any of you intellectual laggards actually READ current events?

Are you unaware of the IMMENSE AMOUNT OF GOOD other individuals have accomplished in the last year??

Or, are you just THAT out of touch, THAT ignorant, and THAT unable to recognize real goodness in this world???

Shame on you all for electing the latest in a series of NORTH KOREAN DICTATORS as your Person of the Year!

HannoPhoenicia
HannoPhoenicia

Time Magazines person of the year lost any credibility many years ago, they always come up with ridiculous choices. Picking a puppet figurehead in a dictatorship won't encourage any more credibility. This was a reader survey? Well, in a country where gun sales shoot up every time a mentally ill person mass murders children or innocent adults, can we expect any more from a rapidly dying culture? I let my print subscription run out about 7 years ago.

GunantoKakgoen
GunantoKakgoen

joko widodo, governor jakarta, the best governor in Indonesia

havenodoubts
havenodoubts

My pick for Person of the Year........Robbie Parker. I can not think of another person who has impressed me more. The strength, love and grace he showed as he spoke of this horrific event was uplifting. He showed me that there is hope to overcome this most inhumane act. And his eulogy for his beautiful daughter, very touching. Who better to represent the victims of this terrible tragedy? Let's put a real person, with real sensitivity and sincere empathy on the cover of Time.

uneven
uneven

Like OMG I love his Gangam Style song!!!

jethromayham6
jethromayham6

With minor changes, he would look perfect as a large penguin on Halloween day. Whatever the hairdressor does, please leave the haircut the same because it looks like his trademark. What a disgusting beast!

edief68
edief68

After watching Emilie Parker's father speak, I agree with metrok that the children taken their families yesterday should be persons of the year....or all victims of these senseless violent acts. As a society, we need to have a serious discussion on the violence in our society.

metrok
metrok

20 1st-graders in Connecticut for Persons of the Year.

ArxFerrum
ArxFerrum

Of I am not mistaken, TIME once bestowed Adolph HItler with this (somewhat questionable) honor. So, am I at all surprised that they would do the same for Kim?

marybeth
marybeth

Your comment makes little sense, @lolol , just like your name. I don't care what it says on his wiki page. there was a sad question from a rather uninformed individual on 2 individuals mentioned in the survey. I replied in a rather snarky tone. Perhaps you meant to just add a comment and not reply on a specific previous comment. And perhaps you are similar to most other people who replied to this article in that you didn't seem to understand that TIME was commenting on the results of the poll, not the actual TIME choice for person of the year. 

cart235
cart235

I think that, after today's events in Connecticut, the "Gunman" shouldbe considered as the Person of the Year. This year has seen a number ofhigh profile mass shootings. The Person of the Year is someone who hasinfluenced the world and our lives in some way or another. These peoplewho carry out these terrible acts have undoubtedly affected our nationin many ways, from issues of gun control to the fear of such a randomact occurring in your town to people you know. I believe that thesegunmen and the shootings which have occurred highlight a deep problemthat the United States has with gun violence. While I understand thatgun control is a highly politicized issue in the country, these types ofevents cannot happen nearly as often or as violently without the use offirearms which these mentally unstable people are more often than notable to procure legally. I think that, more than anything, theseshootings that have occurred over the past year have affected how wethink about the year 2012 and have been influential on shaping ourpolitical, ethical, and psychological thought processes this year.

SmallSpeakHouse
SmallSpeakHouse

Lol, doesn't anyone read anymore? The article clearly states that 4Chan manipulated the results and that it doesn't mean that he will win. I think that most people just read the headline and first paragraph then jumped straight to the comments.

bluzrider
bluzrider

The only award that this guy should win, is "The Dead person of the year" award, and since he is not dead, he is not eligible. Yet. Lets hope he has a chance next year to win the award he so justly deserves.

JustinTime
JustinTime

You know every single one of his votes came out of China.

2016wait
2016wait

Gee, maybe Kim Jong could run for US President.  Everyone loves him - even the people that he's aiming rockets at love him here.  Oh, uh, that's right - he already ran here and won.  That's why we have such consensus on the fiscal cliff.....

JasonBras
JasonBras

let the people vote!!!!  count the vote and move on!!

houston3000
houston3000

@HannoPhoenicia Did you read the article? It specifically says the results were influenced by an online prank. In-fact, if you look at the list of "winners" the first letters of the names spell out "KJU GAS CHAMBERS" and if you sort by the No Way votes it spells "MM HAS CP BUTTSEX". It's all a joke, definitely hurts credibility, but your personal take on gun control and the mentally ill have nothing to do with it.

ghidoran
ghidoran

@HannoPhoenicia More ignorant anti-american B.S. You realize the reason he won was because an internet site decided to make a big practical joke and spam the website? But I guess any ridiculous theory makes sense if it validates your irrational bigotry.

HannoPhoenicia
HannoPhoenicia

@SarahJayneAnderson ; A teenager suspended from school for drug possession and running the streets at night without parental controls or supervision? I don't think so.

Abz89
Abz89

@SarahJayneAnderson why put a black kid on the cover if his fellow blacks can't even read ? visit us at 9gag(dot)com , 9gag army

jethromayham6
jethromayham6

@SmallSpeakHouse Hahahaha! I seldom read the crazy article. I go stright to the comments and speak my mind on ANY subject even if it's not related. Havinf fun!

FelixAndersen
FelixAndersen

@SmallSpeakHouseNope, it says 4chan launched a campaign, not that they did actually 'manipulate' it. I hears it there that they were lobbying for Kim Jong-Un, and I followed their call and voted for him. Completely normal, one time, a legit vote. And it's pretty cheap to just cry foul play, when most of the other candidates have their lobbies as well that campaign for them, and have the same possibilities to rig results. 

By the way, I voted for Kim because I really think he does a pretty impressive job so far, and if he plays his cards right, he may lead his country and millions of citizens into a better future. Which will be a long and hard (and potentially dangerous) task. 

Apart from that, even those who think he's just a bloodthirsty dictator should bear in mind that Hitler made that cover once as well, so to just dismiss Kim for that reason is kinda invalid.

KHRUZCHEV
KHRUZCHEV

@bluzrider VIOLENT DECADENT AMERICAN.  WANT TO MURDER EVERYONE NOT IN AGREEMENT WITH YOU.  

SEEM LIKE FREEDOM TO KHRUZCHEV!  HAHAHA!  

FourChansAdvocate
FourChansAdvocate

@JustinTime Try 4chan(dot)org they do this all the time.  Currently they are trying to make an all white NBA allstar team, and send the Chiefs guy who killed himself and his girlfriend to the probowl.

CastleAge
CastleAge

@JustinTime wtf? Why China? Stop associating very shit to China. If the votes are from China, the winner would be a Chinese leader not North Korean leader. Please have some intelligence.

KHRUZCHEV
KHRUZCHEV

@2016wait IGNORANT WESTERNER.  AMERICAN GREED HAS ALREADY BANKRUPTED YOU.  NOW YOUR PITIFUL WEAK LEADERS ARE ARGUING OVER WHICH CAPITALIST GETS REMAINING SHREDS OF ECONOMY BEFORE MOVE TO COMMUNIST COUNTRY CHINA.  

YOUR "FISCAL CLIFF" IS JUST DISTRACTION.  MIGHT WELL CALL IT 'LOOMING ECONOMIC DISASTER NUMBER 148-85A".  IN SIX MONTHS THERE WILL BE ANOTHER, ALLOWING US TO FURTHER ERODE YOUR FREEDOM BY BILLS YOU WILL NOT READ.

 YOUR IGNORANCE IS YOUR UNDOING.  I TOLD YOU I WOULD CRUSH YOU.

HannoPhoenicia
HannoPhoenicia

@ghidoran @HannoPhoenicia ; Your comment was directly contradictory. If it was hacking (and that was publicized after I posted my comment), than your comment makes no sense whatsoever. Moron.

spiderbait
spiderbait

@ghidoran @HannoPhoenicia  Yep. And that undermines their credibility even more seeing as this is the second time they've done this AND there were actually multiple sites manipulating the results.

SmallSpeakHouse
SmallSpeakHouse

@FelixAndersen @SmallSpeakHouse Yes but you can't dismiss that most 4Chan members voted for Kim Jong-Un for no valid reason. If they were voting because they believed that he was truly the most influential, then you're right. But since they didn't and lobbied for people to do the same, it is in a sense vote-rigging. 

Also, this wasn't posted on 4Chan sites alone. A lot of people who spend quite some time on the internet knew about this already even before the votes were in. 

Oh and I'm not dismissing Kim. I'm just saying that if you remove the votes of the 4Chan members, you would get a more accurate result.

Kim_Jong_UnBelievable
Kim_Jong_UnBelievable

@KHRUZCHEV @bluzrider Worry not my friend, all these toothless Americans do is send stern letters from their so-called United Nations.  They know not the true meaning of the word "freedom" as they have never tasted it.

ChadScott
ChadScott

@KHRUZCHEV @2016wait Keep begging us for food and medicine Korea.  It pleases us Americans that you come to us for a handout.

Kim_Jong_UnBelievable
Kim_Jong_UnBelievable

 @ChadScott Haha, you should ask that question of your own people.  Half of your country's citizens collect allowances from your government though your "welfare" programs like so many spoiled children. All that the glorious leader does is help bankrupt your country by taking your food and giving nothing in return!

ChadScott
ChadScott

@Kim_Jong_UnBelievable @KHRUZCHEV @bluzrider We taste it every day, so much so that we give to others.  Coming soon to the people of the PRK freedom riding in the bomb bay of a stealth bomber.  If the PRK was so good why do you grovel for food from the US?