TIME magazine has released its annual list of the most influential people on the internet and… guess who and who made the list?
TIME evaluated contenders by looking at their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news and 25 people, picked from all over the world, made the list.
Here are some of the people who most shaped the internet conversation for the period under review per Time Magazine.
Atlanta rapper Lil Nas X. Born Montero Lamar Hill, the rapper developed his online fanbase (and his fluency in the quick, satiric language of the internet) by curating memes on Twitter.
So when Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, launched an independent social media account on Instagram in April, @SussexRoyal. The couple uses their account to highlight and support causes they care about such as climate change and mental health awareness, the account rotates the users it follows—a savvy strategy that has driven headlines.
Reasoning that she had “nothing to lose,” teenage runaway Rahaf Mohammed opened a Twitter account in January and catapulted her plight—and the status of Saudi women—onto the world stage. Then 18, Mohammed had escaped a family she described as abusive and a system in which male guardians are given authority over their female relatives’ life decisions, including the ability to travel abroad. She found herself alone in Bangkok, stripped of her passport and facing imminent deportation to a homeland known for disappearing renegade women and killing dissidents. Online, she rallied approximately 45,000 followers in a single day, and the hashtag #SaveRahaf amplified her plea for asylum, catching the attention of the U.N. Refugee Agency, which eventually helped place her in Canada.
First time as well as the youngest congresswoman in US history, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has an unparalleled social media presence. She has nearly 4.8 million followers on the platform, more than most members of Congress. Ocasio-Cortez also expertly harnesses viral tropes to draw attention to subcommittee hearings and granular policy debates that have typically been relegated to the confines of C-Span: an Instagram video of questions she asked at a hearing about cannabis in February has amassed over three million views. —Alana Abramson
James Charles, a beauty vlogger best known as the first male ambassador for CoverGirl, declared to his followers that he wanted to be a “catalyst” for “influencer representation in the media.” He actually got his wish, one way or the other.
South Korean supergroup BTS are well on their way to becoming a household name—if they aren’t already—thanks to their millions-strong fanbase of digital natives, called “ARMY,” who avidly consume and promote their content online. In 2019, having helped BTS top Billboard’s Social Artist chart for over two years, the ARMY propelled the group’s members—RM, J-Hope, Suga, Jung Kook, Jimin, Jin and V—to even greater success.
The movement to preserve Hong Kong’s freedoms is leaderless by design. But while there’s no single organizer at the centre of the demonstrations sparked by the controversial extradition bill, there is still a centre to much of their organization: online platforms put to effective use by protesters who want to stay both active and anonymous.
How can a talk show succeed in the internet age? Look no further than Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk, which Jada Pinkett Smith hosts alongside her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne, each bringing a different generational viewpoint to a variety of hot topics.
President Donald Trump has ramped up his digital presence over the past year. On March 17, he sent out 29 tweets in a single day, including a tweet pondering whether federal agencies should investigate Saturday Night Live for criticizing him. But that still paled in comparison to his output on May 1, when he posted a whopping 84 times.
You can check the
full list on the TIME magazine website.