Time Names Kanye One of the Internet's Most Influential People Because They're Wrong

Kanye West is many things, but he's certainly not the most influential person on the internet.
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Except here comes Nathan Slavik, the Well Actually King. First, while I've already seen headlines proclaiming that Time Magazine has named Kanye the most influential person on the internet, they actually only included him in an unranked list of 30 people, of which he just happens to be the first name. And if that sets off some alarm bells in your prefrontal cortex, you're right. Like so many internet rankings, Time's list is fundamentally flawed because it's laughably unclear what their definition of "influential" is. 

Joining Mr. West on the list are such luminaries as Fat Jew, the guys who did the Damn Daniel meme and social media gossip queen Angie Nwandu. Despite the name they gave to their own list, Time clearly doesn't actually mean "most influential on the internet," they mean "popular on social media with millennials," which isn't remotely the same thing. Off the top of my head, I'd say that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos - you know, the guys who Kanye was begging for help from - are a slightly more influential force on the internet than even the beloved DJ Khaled (who yes, is also on the list.) 

The artist and entrepreneur has perfected the art of the Twitter spree, sharing candid thoughts that are often just as provocative—if not more so—than his music. His tweets can be controversial (see: his comments on Amber Rose and Bill Cosby) and confusing (like his revelation that he’s $53 million in debt), but many do offer constructive criticism of the fashionand music industries. West also used the Internet to shake up the idea of an album as we know it, treating his latest LP, The Life of Pablo, like a work in progress by refusing to sell it (it’s only available on the streaming service Tidal) and promising alterations to its “final” version.

There's a real conversation to be had about Kanye's continued influence on the world, which in 2016 is funneled primarily through the internet, but this certainly isn't it. In fact, the clearest sign of Kanye's importance on the internet is that media outlets, even supposedly esteemed ones like Time, know that if they include his name in something, eyeballs will follow. And here I am, falling for the trap.

If only some influential internet artist had made an entire album about this phenomenon two years ago...

By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter. Photo via Instagram.