A day after Time launched its annual poll asking readers who should appear in the magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in 2011, the South Korean popstar Rain is dominating, with more than double the votes of the runner-up, Glee star Chris Colfer. It's something of an annual tradition for his fans as Rain's finished first or close to first nearly every year since 2007.
In 2009, when Chris Poole (a/k/a "moot")--the then-21-year-old founder of the online community 4chan.org--won the poll, Time noted that its technical team had detected and addressed attempts to hack the vote, though Poole denied that his followers had tampered with the poll. In fact, as TechCrunch pointed out at the time, 4chan users manipulated the 20 spots after Poole so that the first letter of every name spelled out “Marblecake, also the game” a reference to a 4chan chatroom. (In case you're wondering, Rain finished just behind the letter E in "game.")
However, Time appears less concerned about Rain's uncanny dominance of the magazine's popularity contest. As Time's staff writes in Rain's 2011 profile, "His army of fans helped him stay on top of this poll last year; let's see if there's still enough love to keep him on top today." And as anyone working on the web can tell you: page views are page views.
The unrelenting fan love has inspired some memorable moments over the years. In 2008, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, locked in a duel with Rain for the top in Time's rankings, engaged in a dance-off with the decidedly more agile and better dressed pop sensation:
In 2009, Time documented Rain's battle with Poole: