TIME’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet – Alana Bonfiglio 10/7

TIME Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet shows the list of the 25 people that had the greatest impact on social media in 2019.

The list included musicians Lil Nas X, BTS, Ariana Grande, and Cardi B and internet stars Liza Koshy, James Charles, Germán Garmendia, Zhang Dayi, JoJo Siwa, DrLupo and Emma Chamberlain. Activists Jameela Jamil, Ady Barkan Rahaf Mohammed, Brian Kolfage, public social figures The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Jada Pinkett Smith and political figures President Donald Trump, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ben Shapiro also made the list. The list also contained two journalists Yashar Ali and Carlos Maza and two groups for social change The School Strikers and Hong Kong Protesters. Perhaps most surprising was the inclusion of Chris Godfrey, the man behind the World Record egg, an Instagram post that became the platform’s most-liked image in January 2019. Many of the people on the list were credited for creating virality in some way in 2019.

I can’t help but wonder about the criteria used to determine this list. According to the article, “TIME evaluated contenders by looking at their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news.” However, this does not seem like a very thorough explanation. I would like to know more about the specific factors that were looked at to compose the list. I think it is strange that out of the 25 supposedly most influential people out of the 8 billion+ on the planet, I have never heard of several of the names on this list. For example, I had never heard of Brian Kolfage, Germán Garmendia or DrLupo before reading this article. I also find it very interesting how different the people on the list are. “What do Ben Shapiro and Jojo Siwa have in common?” kind of feels like a riddle to me, but I guess extreme influence is the answer.

4 thoughts on “TIME’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet – Alana Bonfiglio 10/7

  1. Hi Alana. I think you make a really great point when questioning the criteria used to determine the list. While reading the beginning of your blog post when you listed out the those who made the list, I too was very unfamiliar with many of the names. I consider myself to be very knowledgeable about pop culture since I am an avid social media user. For this reason I was very shocked when I did not know quite a few of the names on the list.

  2. Alana, I also briefly skimmed through this list and was surprised to see some of the names. People I assumed to be on it, weren’t, and there were a lot of names I was unfamiliar with like Chris Godfrey. I would like to know more about the algorithm choosing these people and how they all may relate to each other. As you said, they all represent very different backgrounds, industries, and genres, so I am curious how this list was generated.

  3. You make an interesting point in fact checking the list, and I wondered what the list might look like should they redo it. If they were to recreate the list, I would imagine that more TikTok stars would be present, as TikTik has grown exponentially since the article was published. I would also imagine that more activists, instead of entertainers, would be on the list.

  4. I definitely agree with your points. I don’t know a lot of names on that list, and I am a little bit confused about why they can be described as the most influential ones. The criteria of the list was blurry, and the writers did not explain the standards clearly. I also think it is better to have a classification since there was a whole range of people.

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