Miley Cyrus leads Time Person of the Year poll

Last updated 14:45 28/11/2013

Miley Cyrus and her space kitten perform Wrecking Ball at the American Music Awards 2013.

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PERSON OF THE YEAR? Miley Cyrus performs during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

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This article originally appeared on Mashable.

Headline magnet Miley Cyrus is leading Time magazine's Person of the Year online poll, with nearly 28% of the votes as of Thursday night. The pop star is ahead of former NSA defense contractor Edward Snowden, as well as notable figures in politics, religion and entertainment.

The poll winner, which will be revealed on December 6 isn't necessarily the person who becomes Time's Person of the Year, as the editors will pick and then announce that honour on December 11.

Cyrus, 21, has no doubt had a commercially successful 2013, drumming up massive amounts of social buzz, YouTube views and music sales due to a combination of talent and controversial antics. The singer's twerk-filled MTV VMAs performance dominated social conversations for months, her nude "Wrecking Ball" video earned the record for most views in 24 hours, and she helped "twerk" get added to Oxford Dictionaries Online.

Whether those ingredients warrant the title of Person of the Year is solely up to Time's editors.

But if history is any indication, Cyrus won't win.

The prestigious honour has routinely gone to world leaders (US President Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008; Vladimir Putin in 2007; George W. Bush in 2004 and 2000) or groups of people (protestor in 2011; "you" in 2006; good samaritans in 2005; the American soldier in 2003). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earned the title in 2010, while Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke received it in 2009.

Time uses its reader poll to keep its finger on the pulse of public sentiment. The magazine even added a Twitter component this year to encourage more participation.

However, a pair of programmers are trying to make a mockery of the Poptip poll by claiming that they've rigged it to cast multiple votes for Cyrus, according to The Daily Dot.

"Time and Poptip are aware of the efforts to affect the results of the Person of the Year poll, and have measures in place so that only legitimate votes are being incorporated in the final tally," a Time spokesperson told Mashable. "We're delighted that so many people are having fun with this informal poll and contributing to the conversation [about who should win]. "

Time Person of the Year Poll

It's unclear how many votes from the 28% currently have come from the programmers' hijacking efforts and how many have actually come from Cyrus supporters, but as Time said, it will only include legitimate votes in the "final tally."

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Over the years, Time's poll efforts have encountered setbacks. Last year, programmers built software that resulted in North Korean President Kim Jong-un taking home the title, while in 2009, 4chan rallied to move its founder Christopher Poole to the top of the rankings.

Cyrus' voting page describes her as follows: "The artist formerly known as Hannah Montana got tongues wagging - beyond her own -with a scantily clad, twerk-filled performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards and meme-able hit videos."

On Twitter, Cyrus has retweeted fans who are encouraging their followers to vote for her.

Time has chosen a Person of the Year honoree since 1927 when American aviator Charles Lindbergh won.

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

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