On June 28, 2018, Time Magazine published an article about the top 25 most influential people on the internet, which they assessed by looking at their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news. This was the fourth edition of Time’s top 25 most influential people on the internet.
The first people they named was a seven-member korean pop band– BTS or Beyond The Scene. They hav amassed a serious following over the past few years and have one of the largest fan bases in Asia and the world. For example, the YouTube views within 24 hours for their music video “Fake Love” almost surpassed Taylor Swift’s and Psy’s all-time records– no small feat. Logan and Jake Paul were two other extremely popular names they listed. These two first caught a buzz on the social media short video platform Vine, which was purchased by Twitter and has since disappeared from the public sphere. Now, the Paul brothers enjoy tens of millions of followers on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook and make upwards of $11 million annually. They have even branched into other industries unrelated to the internet, such as Logan’s apparel line and Jake’s rap career. However, these two have encountered some controversy. YouTube dropped 23-year-old Logan as a preferred ad partner following an incident in which he filmed himself discovering an alleged dead body in Japan’s “Suicide Forest,” and 21-year-old Jake came under fire for using the N-word while rapping. But their fans don’t seem to care because their overall popularity has not decreased at all. Another name on the list is none other than President Donald Trump. He revolutionized communication with the media and public by being the first U.S. president and perhaps world leader to employ Twitter messages as frequently as he does. He has announced foreign trade policies such as tariffs against china and sanctions against Iran on Twitter first. He announced that the NK Peninsula would be denuclearized after his meeting with the NK President Kim Jong Un, which did not actually happen, and has been known to belittle his political rivals and the media while retweeting controversial conspiracy pages at the same time.
Overall, I thought it was a great list, but I was only familiar with about half of the names, maybe two-thirds. They mentioned some really imortant people, including some I did not mention above, such as Deesus and Mero, (Daniel Baker and Joel Martinez) who launched a YouTube career a few years ago and have become one of the top podcast contending for cultural relevance in the country. They have sinced acquired a deal with HBO Showtime and Viceland after their fame skyrocketed. Another important name is Kanye West, because he has influenced the culture more than any other rapper has via Twitter. When he tweeted that he would have voted for President Trump, had he voted in the 2016 elections, and stated “he likes the way” Candace Owens, black conservative personality, thinks he caught a firestorm of backlash but embraced it all. Several months after this incident he wound up in the White House offering Trump advice on designing new planes. Do we give too much social importance to internet celebrities like Jake and Logan Paul? Why do we hold the political voice of apolitical figures like Kanye West in such high regard?