Back in March 2012, prominent blogger and former CNN bureau chief Rebecca MacKinnon stated that she believed Facebook yielded as much power as a nation.
"Sovereignty and power are shifting," she told the New Scientist. "Before the internet, these notions were controlled by nation states. But companies like Facebook are the sovereigns of cyberspace.
"Facebook exercises power by shaping the way you interact with the world. It makes decisions about what you can do and not do on its network. And there are only a few countries in the world where Facebook is not the most popular social network."
Though MacKinnon's comments could justifiably be called hyperbolic -- nation states collect taxes, while Facebook does not -- she does make a very salient point. Whether we want to admit it or not, Facebook, more so than any other social media platform, has ingrained itself on to our society. The social network plays a prominent role in how we vote, how we worship, and how people do their jobs.
We took MacKinnon's argument into consideration when making our list of 2012's most influential Facebook users. This list is unconventional insofar as it doesn't enumerate the people with the most likes. This isn't a popularity contest.
Instead, we took a look back at what were the biggest Facebook stories of 2012 and the players involved. It's those people, not celebrities (sorry, Rihanna), who helped shape the biggest online community in the world.
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