Time magazine is jumping on the crowdsourcing bandwagon and turning to Twitter for help selecting the 2013 recipient of their “Person of the Year” honour. Twitter users can vote for their favourite nominees, using the #TIMEPOY hashtag – all submissions will be collated for consideration on Wednesday 4th December.
Time will not be using the sheer volume of tweets to determine the winner, however. Rather, the magazine’s editors will be using the hashtag to gage general public opinion, before making the final decision in-house. If amount of tweets were the sole consideration, they might as well hand the award to Miley Cyrus right now; a cursory search on Twitter using the #TIMEPOY hashtag brings up the young provocateur’s name a startling number of times, thanks to her army of passionate fans.
Cyrus faces fierce competition from a wide range of other individuals who have been subject to much conversation and controversy over the last twelve months. Also in the running are:
Edward Snowden: The whistle-blower who lifted the lid on the secret practices of the NSA has become something of a folk hero, depending on who you talk to. Others remain convinced that he is a traitor.
Malala Yousafzai: Much like a real-life superhero, Malala did not let a simple thing like getting shot in the head get in the way of her mission, to spread a message of peace, hope and equality around the world.
Pope Francis: A long-time proponent of liberation theology, Pope Francis has won hearts and minds since taking over from Pope Benedict XVI with a decidedly more modern attitude, eschewing the draconian privilege of the Catholic Church and addressing issues such as poverty and homosexuality with surprising candour.
Prince George: He hasn’t really done much worth talking about yet, unless you count “being born”. But he is a contender nonetheless.
At the time of writing this, over 611,000 people have had their say on Time’s website. Head over there now to see the full shortlist and cast your vote, or simply use the #TIMEPOY hashtag.