Forget the Olympics, mummy porn, particle physics, elections galore and the bravery of a young Pakistani girl. The Guardian’s 2012 person of the year vote has concluded and the winner, after some rather fishy voting patterns that belied earlier reader comments on the poll, isBradley Manning, the US whistleblower on trial for leaking state secrets.
It was very much a game of two halves. The overwhelming majority of early votes in the three-day poll went to Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for defending girls’ right to education. Malala, who is still recovering from injuries sustained in October, had 70 percent of votes at the halfway stage with many readers predicting a foregone conclusion. “What that kid did really focussed the world on the evil that these men can do – and what evil all people can do when they feel inclined. But it also showed the courage to pull through and the will of others to not succumb to evil,” wrotejamieTWC1.
But in the latter stages, following a series of tweets from the @Wikileakstwitter handle telling followers to vote Manning, thousands of voters flocked to his cause. Manning secured 70 percent of the vote, the vast majority of them coming after a series of @Wikileaks tweets. Project editor Mark Rice-Oxley said: “It was an interesting exercise that told us a lot about our readers, our heroes and the reasons that people vote.”