Time 100 is an initiative that allows people to choose the most influential people in the world
Time 100 is an initiative that allows people to choose the most influential people in the world (screengrab)

The Anonymous hacking collective has been voted by readers of Time magazine as the most influential figure of 2012.

Time 100 is a poll that allows readers to choose whom they consider to be the most influential people in the world. It can include artists, researchers, heads of state, politicians and activists.The winners are then included in a list of the magazine's top 100 of the year.

Although the hacktivists have yet to be chosen as the ultimate winner in the poll, which is decided by the editors, they are clearly the favourite among the reading public.

In the 2010 poll, for instance, Julian Assange was the people's favourite by a vast majority, but the editors choose Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg instead.

In 2011, Time magazine announced the Protester as its Person of the Year.

Anonymous is heading the list with around 400,000 votes over Erik Martin, general manager of social news website reddit, who has just over 250,000. An unnamed source told the technology website Mashable that Anonymous had "most likely hacked the vote to take top spot". In this digital age, Anonymous refuted the claim on Twitter.

Here is the Top 10 for the 2012 Time Magazine vote:

Name             Yes/No

Anonymous | 395793 / 27303

Erik Martin | 264193 / 49450

Narendra Modi | 256792 / 266684

Asghar Farhadi | 140785 / 23359

Imran Khan | 116130 / 25447

Alexei Navalny | 92095 / 77309

Benedict Cumberbatch | 91840 / 13327

Bashar Assad | 91632 / 98387

Jeremy Lin | 89691 / 9570

Lionel Messi | 78987 / 10167