TIME Food

Man Can’t Sue Applebee’s for Burns He Got While Praying Over Fajitas

According to a new court ruling

A New Jersey man who was burned by a plate of hot fajitas while dining at Applebee’s can’t sue the restaurant over his injuries, according to an appellate court.

Hiram Jimenez took the chain restaurant to court because he said his waitress failed to alert him that his meal was hot. After being served, the court ruling says he bowed his head to pray over the crackling plate, and some oil popped and burned his face. Jimenez says he then panicked and knocked the plate in his lap, causing more burns, none of which resulted in scars, according to court records.

He filed suit seeking damages on the grounds that he suffered “serious and permanent” injuries “solely as a result of (Applebee’s) negligence when he came in contact with a dangerous and hazardous condition, specifically, ‘a plate of hot food’.”

A trial judge dismissed the suit, finding Applebee’s had no duty to warn Jimenez “against a danger that is open and obvious” like a sizzling hot plate of fajitas. Jimenez appealed, but an appellate panel confirmed the lower court ruling, saying Applebee’s can’t be held responsible because the hot food posed an a risk that should be “self-evident” and thus “approached with due care.”

[H/T USA Today]

TIME Body Image

This ‘Normal Barbie’ Ad Captures Society’s Insane Pressure to Have a Perfect Body

Even dolls with cellulite can have a good time at the beach

The Lammily doll — playfully dubbed the “Normal Barbie” — finally has an ad — and it’s absolutely incredible.

“I created a video in which ‘Normal Barbie’ encounters unrealistic beauty expectations, just like in the real world,” creator Nickolay Lamm tells TIME.

Specifically: Spring break in Miami. When the Lammily doll is invited on vacation with her friends, she is overcome with a wave of pop culture-fueled self consciousness. Is her normal body — which is modeled after an average 19-year-old woman’s measurements (based on CDC data) — “bikini ready?”

“The video parodies twerking, Victoria’s Secret, American Apparel, Facebook and more,” Lamm says.

In the end, however, “Normal Barbie” learns that even dolls with stretch marks (available for purchase in a Lammily extension pack) can have fun at the beach.

There is a growing movement toward a society that embraces healthier, more natural bodies. The Lammily doll is fighting that fight, one twerk at a time.

Read Next: Bye, Bye Barbie: 2015 Is the Year We Abandon Unrealistic Beauty Ideals

 

TIME society

This Is the Most Outrageous Bar Mitzvah Video Invitation You’ll Ever See

He dances naked while dressed like a rabbi and waves around challah bread in a parody of "Blurred Lines"

Before becoming a man, you become a meme. At least that’s the way of thinking in 2015. Case in point: this bar mitzvah invitation of biblical proportions.

In a YouTube video produced by Xpress Video Productions and written by Patrick De Nicola, Brody Criz parodies pop hits like Pharrell’s “Happy,” Lorde’s “Royals” and “Let It Go” from Frozen. The whole family is in on it, too.

Fair warning, at the 2:46 mark, when he spoofs Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” he starts dancing. Naked. Dressed like a rabbi. Stick with it, and you’ll see him mug for the camera with a pug.

If this video is just the invite, then imagine what the reception will be like.

Mazel tov on going viral.

(h/t BuzzFeed)

TIME Sports

Watch the Cutest Brawl in the History of Sports

You know, just some tiny hockey players getting mean on the ice

After what appeared to be a good-natured game of youth hockey in Russia, the teams met at center ice for the traditional post-game handshake. Everything seemed to fine and normal until a fight broke out and the scene devolved into a mess of tiny punches and tiny body checks.

The refs tried to break it up as quickly as possible but there were simply too many rowdy youths to control. Eventually, some onlookers made their way to the ice to finally break things up after a solid 70 seconds of pure mayhem.

We definitely don’t endorse kid-on-kid violence, but the whole thing is pretty cute, especially because everybody appears to come out unscathed.

Read next: Watch Putin Play Hockey and Score a Suspicious Number of Goals

TIME society

Genius Woman Uses Tinder to Get Guys to Dig Her Car

But does she dig them after they dig out her car?

Apparently there is hope for Tinder users who feel like they have not gotten anything out of the dating app.

Journalist Susan Zalkind wrote an article for Boston magazine about how she found men on Tinder who were willing to shovel her car out of snow during a winter season that saw her city inch toward an all-time record for snowfall. To give you a glimpse of her success rate, at one point, after 74 right swipes, she got 35 matches, and 11 offers to shovel.

The first guy was a 38 year old who got the job done in 45 minutes in the middle of blabbing about his ex. The second guy was a 29 year old in an open relationship with his wife, so while he was not dating material, at least he shoveled the snow off of the car.

Read next: Inside Tinder: Meet the Guys Who Turned Dating Into an Addiction

TIME Television

Watch Adam Sandler and Bob Barker Continue Their Happy Gilmore Fight For Charity

Fight! Fight!

Adam Sandler picked a fight with hospital bed-bound Bob Barker that turned into a rematch of their infamous Happy Gilmore brawl. The two claim to have not spoken in years, but they pick up right where they left off in the 1996 golf comedy, tossing barbs and heckling each other like old frenemies.

But Barker and Sandler didn’t throw down for fun. It was all for a good cause — a fundraiser for autism services. Specifically, Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars, which airs March 8 and features a crop of talent that helps the benefit live up to its name including Louis C.K., John Oliver, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Jim Gaffigan, Sarah Silverman, Steve Buscemi, Steve Carell and many more.

To see how Sandler and Barker’s fight club has matured, here’s the original Happy Gilmore brawl:

Night of Too Many Stars airs Sunday, March 8 at 8/7c on Comedy Central.

TIME celebrity

Kim Kardashian Rebrands Her Hair

Balmain : Front Row - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016
Pascal Le Segretain—Getty Images Kim Kardashian attends the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016 on March 5, 2015 in Paris, France.

She's platinum blonde now

After accidentally revealing newly-dyed platinum blonde locks below a beanie at Paris Fashion Week, Kim Kardashian officially debuted her new look on Thursday.

Though the immediate reaction on Twitter was to compare the slicked-back blonde hair to that of Harry Potter villain Draco Malfoy, the image change is no joke. It’s sure to reverberate throughout the Kardashian empire. Will her avatar go blonde in the uber-popular Kim Kardashian mobile game? Will her husband, Kanye West, croon about blondes in a new song? Will going blonde be a plot-line on the next Keeping Up?

As mundane as the plot-line might sound, Kim’s debate over dying her hair could certainly appear on her reality TV show, especially since Kim’s sister Khloe also posted about her new blonde hair last week on Instagram. Stay tuned!

I'm in love with my blonde hair!!! @traceycunningham1 you killed it with this color!!! 💋💋💋

A photo posted by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

TIME celebrity

See Justin Bieber’s ‘Grown Up’ Cover of Men’s Health

Music's bad boy reveals his workout tips

Grammy-winning pop star and music’s bad boy Justin Bieber graces the cover of the April 2015 issue of Men’s Health. In addition to a deep dive on his workout routine (with photos), the magazine has teased some fun tidbits about the 21-year-old musician. For instance:

  • He claims he can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute.
  • He thinks women look “sexiest” in “like jean shorts and like a tank top. Or spandex.”
  • He sings Alanis Morissette in the shower.
  • He idolizes Ben Affleck because “his vibe is cool.”

The cover is the latest stop on an image rehabilitation tour for the singer, including a public apology for his behavior and an upcoming Comedy Central Roast.

The issue hits newsstands March 10.

Read next: 21 Things You Maybe Didn’t Know About Justin Bieber

TIME Business

Uber Refunds Woman Hit With $100 ‘Bodily Fluids’ Fee

Uber At $40 Billion Valuation Would Eclipse Twitter And Hertz
Bloomberg/Getty Images The Uber Technologies Inc. logo is displayed on the window of a vehicle after dropping off a passenger at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington on Nov. 26, 2014.

Annie Pho says she did not throw up or create any sort of "bodily fluids" in her Uber taxi

A California woman complained to Uber that her driver had no reason to charge her a $100 “bodily fluids” fee on a $7 car ride recently.

Annie Pho says she did not throw up or create any sort of “bodily fluids” in the car she ordered with the popular ride sharing app. The only explanation, she told CBS2-TV in Los Angeles, is that the driver was trying to charge her for rain water that might have gotten in his car during the stormy day.

Pho took her outrage to Twitter:

Uber confirmed that a “cleaning fee” of $100 or $200 does exist (though it’s not called a “bodily fluids” fee on its site), but the company told CBS2-TV it was refunded in Pho’s case. The fee is usually reserved for “vomiting or pet accidents,” the company said, and the “exact amount depends on the extent of the damage.”

[CBS2]

TIME

The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet

If we’ve learned anything from the Dress That Broke the Internet, first posted to Tumblr by a 21-year-old singer from Scotland, it’s that anyone with a web connection can start a global conversation. Yes, it helps to be famous in real life. But the rise of social networks has leveled the playing field, allowing unknowns to command audiences rivaling those of real-world leaders, even if by accident. Who rises above the rest? To determine the unranked list, we analyzed social-media followings, site traffic, overall ability to drive news, and more.

  • Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (a.k.a. PewDiePie)

    PewDiePie
    Getty Images

    Nevermind Fox or AMC. With 35 million subscribers (and nearly 8 billion total views), this Swedish gamer’s YouTube channel broadcasts some of the most-watched programs in pop culture, which just so happen to be…clips of himself playing video games, with charismatic narration. Early on in his rise to fame, Kjellberg upset some fans by making rape jokes. But the 25-year-old later apologized, and has since gone on to give indie game-makers invaluable exposure and commandeer his “Bro Army” to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities like Save the Children. —Sarah Begley

  • Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift
    Getty Images

    Like many pop stars, the 25-year old “Blank Space” singer has millions of followers across social media. But Swift stands out for how—and how much—she truly engages with them. In the past year alone, she has commented on a fan’s Instagram to comfort her from bullying, made a breakup playlist for a brokenhearted fan on Tumblr, and hosted a bunch of 1989 listening parties specifically for people she found online. Naturally, all of this wit and warmth makes news, giving Swift an invaluable amount of free publicity.—Daniel D’Addario

  • The Jester

    jester-influential-people
    Stanley Chow

    A hero to some and a criminal to others, the Jester is one of a growing army of anonymous cyberwarriors, or “hacktivists,” who push the boundaries of the law in the name of their causes. In his case, that means targeting terrorists and hate groups. Since he assumed his persona five years ago, the Jester says he’s taken down more than 180 websites, including some associated with ISIS, and played virtual pranks on groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, which is known for anti-gay rhetoric. (Although all of this is technically illegal, the Jester has never been prosecuted.) Of course, it’s impossible to verify such claims with certainty. But if true, they make him one of the most powerful stand-alone hackers in the world.—Haley Sweetland Edwards

  • Nash Grier

    Nash Grier
    Getty Images

    If you’re a teenager or you’re on Vine, the social media platform that loops six-second videos, you’ve almost definitely heard of Nash Grier. But for the uninitiated: The 17-year-old commands more than 11 million followers on Vine (more than any other user), where his comedic clips have logged some 2 billion views. All of which has made Grier a generational celebrity, replete with a movie contract, appearances on Good Morning America, endorsement deals with Sonic and Virgin Mobile, and the occasional controversy (such as when he used a gay slur in a now-deleted video). In October, Grier was named one of Time’s most influential teens of 2014.Sarah Begley

  • Barack Obama

    Barack Obama
    Getty Images

    It’s easy to cite facts about the President’s virtual influence: he’s the most-liked world leader on Facebook; the most-followed world leader on Twitter; and he did the most-trafficked “Ask Me Anything” in Reddit history. But more impressively, Obama is able to meme himself to push an agenda. Last month, for example, he mugged for BuzzFeed cameras with a selfie stick—among other props—to remind millennials to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act; within days, the video had been viewed more than 50 million times.—Olivia B. Waxman

  • Kim Kardashian

    Kim Kardashian
    Getty Images

    She may tout millions of fans in real life, but Kardashian, 34, truly stands out on Instagram. There, she has perfected the art of the selfie: some with famous friends, some in luxurious bathrooms, and all to the delight of her 27 million followers. Long a performer in a reality TV show produced and edited by others, Kardashian also deftly uses Twitter to define and defend her own narrative (“Her eyes were closed and I was feeling my look! Can I live?!?” she sniped after being criticized for cropping her daughter out of a selfie), and of course to promote her various business ventures.—Daniel D’Addario

  • Joy Cho

    Joy Cho
    AP

    The 35-year-old blogger has parlayed her design expertise into an “Oh Joy!” lifestyle empire, spanning Pinterest (where she touts a record 13 million followers), YouTube (where she posts DIY design tutorials), Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and yes, even old-fashioned books. More recently, the L.A. resident has started to produce products with brands such as Land of Nod and Target, where many items from her party décor line quickly sold out. In May, she’ll release a line of patterned Band-Aids for Johnson & Johnson.—S.B.

  • Janet Mock

    Writer Janet Mock attends Marie Claire's Second-Annual New Guard Lunch at Hearst Tower on Oct. 30, 2014 in New York City.
    Robin Marchant—Getty Images

    Alongside Orange Is the New Black’s Laverne Cox, writer and activist Janet Mock is one of the most visible transgender women in America, and she uses her social media platform to educate others about trans issues. Most famously, she took to Twitter to criticize Piers Morgan after his talk-show “sensationaliz[ed]” her life by describing her as “formerly a man” and “a boy until age 18.” (Mock says she has always identified as female.) But the author of Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More routinely sheds light on other issues affecting her community, such as the plights of CeCe McDonald and Monica Jones and the disproportionate violence transgender women face.—Nolan Feeney

  • Justin Bieber

    Justin Bieber
    Getty Images

    The music industry’s first major social-media success story hasn’t released an album in three years. But he still routinely makes headlines, thanks largely to his 23 million Instagram followers (a shot of ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez was rumored to have crashed the app’s servers); 78 million Facebook fans (an apology for his recent erratic behavior went viral); and 61 million Twitter followers (after he revealed his Calvin Klein campaign, it sparked memes, a Saturday Night Live parody and a back-and-forth debate about whether he had been, ahem, digitally enhanced). Next up: his own social network? In 2013 Bieber led a $1.1 million seed investment into Shots, a selfies-only Instagram alternative.—N.F.

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Getty Images

    The writer (and former TIME contributor) is the Internet’s leading intellectual when it comes to talking about the intersection of race, politics and culture. His 2014 June cover story for The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” broke the magazine’s single-day online traffic record and stirred debate in conservative and liberal publications alike. Meanwhile, his regular readers, nicknamed the Horde, have helped produce what’s been called the “best comment section on the Internet.”N.F.

  • Grace Helbig

    Grace Helbig
    Getty Images

    The 29-year-old YouTube personality started making videos in 2007 to cure spells of boredom while housesitting, but she’s since proved that building a media empire doesn’t require a traditional media background. More than 2 million people subscribe to her YouTube show it’sGrace, which features improvised musings about everything from pop culture to near gastrointestinal disasters. That loyal following paved the way for a book (Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up was a New York Times best-seller), corporate sponsorships (including Windows Phone and Ford Fiesta) and acting roles (she executive produced and starred in the digital feature film Camp Takota). Now, Helbig is poised to become a mainstream star: Her upcoming E! talk show premieres in April.—N.F.

  • Vani Hari (a.k.a. Food Babe)

    Vani Hari
    Getty Images

    The former management consultant, 35, commands an army of amateur nutritionists who look to her blog, Food Babe, to see which “unsafe” ingredients they should protest next. She bills herself as an investigator, posting exposés under headlines like “General Mills or Generally Toxic?” Those tactics may sound crass, but they’re remarkably effective. Last year, for example, Hari demanded that Subway stop using azodicarbonamide, a dough conditioner she branded the “yoga mat” ingredient. Within a day, her petition had 50,000 signatures; shortly thereafter, the sandwich chain jettisoned the compound. She’s also successfully targeted Kraft and Anheuser-Busch, among others. Hari’s critics say she’s underqualified and irresponsibly alarmist in her attempt to build her brand. (The yoga-mat compound was ruled safe by the FDA.) But her audience doesn’t seem to mind: Food Babe logged a record 54 million visits last year, and Hari’s first book, The Food Babe Way, is in stores now.—Mandy Oaklander

  • Beyoncé

    Singer Beyonce Knowles attends the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Aug. 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif.
    Jason Merritt—Getty Images

    When Beyoncé dropped her 2013 self-titled album with no warning online, the 33-year-old pop star created a new model for releasing records (hers sold close to a million copies within a week) and inspired the likes of Drake and Azealia Banks to do the same. But her influence extends well beyond the music business: she’s mastered a kind of visual PR on her Instagram account, where the notoriously private star will post happy family photos whenever rumors of marital strife swirl—a way to dismiss gossip without saying a word. It’s that combination of rare, highly calculated intimacy and a notoriously perfectionist work ethic that drove her “7/11” video, which features Beyoncé dancing around hotels in a sweatshirt and underpants, to reach 160 million views on YouTube. Her fans, known as the Beyhive, are also one of the most active and loyal communities on the web: their vigilant dedication helped inspire a Saturday Night Live skit, “The Beygency,” about what happens when you say something bad about Queen Bey.—N.F.

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow
    Getty Images

    In 2008, the 42-year-old actress attempted to rebrand herself as a lifestyle guru with Goop, a website and newsletter meant to cover Paltrow’s favorite fashions, recipes, hotels and more. That risk paid off: Goop now touts some a reported one million subscribers, giving Paltrow the power to drive sales with a single recommendation and the platform to control her own public relations. In 2014 , for example, she used GOOP to announce her “conscious uncoupling” from husband Chris Martin, and the term immediately started trending on Facebook and Twitter. No wonder other celebrities, such as Blake Lively and Jessica Alba, have tried to follow in Paltrow’s footsteps.—D.D.

  • Tyler Oakley

    Tyler Oakley
    Getty Images

    The self-consciously wacky YouTube star has converted nearly 6.5 million subscribers not just into followers on Tumblr or podcast subscribers (though he has plenty of both) but into real-world success. This year alone, he interviewed Michelle Obama and his reporting on the Grammys red carpet appeared on CBS.com. He’s also become a leading LGBT activist, raising money for the Trevor Project and speaking out on behalf of gay youth.—D.D.

  • Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

    Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
    Getty Images

    The embattled Argentinian president, 62, may well be Twitter‘s most candid—and controversial—politician. Last month, for example, she made global headlines for joking about Chinese accents with her 3.6 million Twitter followers, and in one of her most shared tweets, she declared that the Mother of Dragons was her favorite character in the HBO series Game of Thrones. Sometimes, however, it’s what she doesn’t say that stokes debate. As thousands of people gathered in Buenos Aires earlier this year to mourn the mysterious death of a high-profile prosecutor, her Twitter feed was conspicuously off-topic: “In the Chinese horoscope, I am a snake.”—Noah Rayman

  • Matt Drudge

    Matt Drudge
    Getty Images

    Arguably the Internet’s most famous citizen journalist, Drudge rose to prominence in 1998 by breaking the news that Newsweek was sitting on a story about Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The look of his site hasn’t changed much since then, but the audience has. Drudge Report now racks up almost a billion page views every month—a number that’s bound to increase as the 2016 elections loom larger—and it is at times the top driver of traffic to news websites, outpacing both Twitter and Facebook, according to Pew Research Center.—O.B.W.

  • Yao Chen

    Yao Chen
    Getty Images

    On Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, the 35-year-old actress touts a record 77 million followers, putting her in command of a population that exceeds the size of most countries. And Yao, who became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2013, frequently taps it to advance causes she champions. When she shared a video for an organization dedicated to combatting Pneumoconiosis in 2011, for example, the group raised $32,000 in two weeks, roughly 80 times its average inflow. Yao has also demonstrated a willingness to cross over into social commentary—a risky move in China—by criticizing smog pollution and defending a newspaper against state censors.—N.R.

  • Bethany Mota

    Bethany Mota
    Ben Gabbe—Getty Images

    The popular fashion and beauty blogger, who boasts 7.4 million YouTube subscribers and 565 million total views, is also a bona-fide businesswoman who pulls in more than $500,000 in ad revenue each year. The 19-year-old has released original music, interviewed President Obama, and even oversees her own clothing line at Aéropostale, making her the most Googled designer in the world, ahead of icons like Kate Spade and Oscar de la Renta.—S.G.

  • Alexei Navalny

    Alexei Navalny
    Getty Images

    The Russian blogger, 38, won a loyal following by exposing corruption in Vladimir Putin’s regime—or, as he calls it, “poking the crooks with a sharp stick.” One of his posts, for example, alleged a $4 billion corruption scheme at the state-owned oil firm Transneft; it logged a million views in a day. Naturally, this hasn’t sat well with the Kremlin, which has twice tried Navalny and sentenced him to house arrest, and recently accused him of embezzlement. But as long as he has an Internet connection, he will remain a major thorn in Putin’s side—and a force in Russian politics.—N.R.

  • Brittany Furlan

    Brittany Furlan
    Getty Images

    Some 8.6 million follow Furlan’s antics on Vine, making her the site’s biggest female celebrity. “It’s changed my whole life,” says the 28-year-old Philadelphia native, who spends anywhere from minutes to days planning the clips she will upload (many of which feature over-the-top characters, such as “Ghetto Dora the Explorer”). Now she’s set her sights set on other projects, as well, including developing a sketch show with Seth Green.—S.G.

  • Shakira

    Shakira
    Getty Images

    She may not be as personally engaged on social media as some of her contemporaries, but there’s no denying Shakira’s social capital. The two-time Grammy winner touts 107 million Facebook fans—more than any other person on the site, including President Obama and Taylor Swift—giving her an unparalleled platform to promote her work and her causes. A 2013 post asking people to donate money for UNICEF’s “World Baby Shower,” for example, tallied 1.3 million likes, nearly 90,000 shares, and helped raise enough money to provide 80,000 polio vaccines and four tons of food to children worldwide.—S.G.

  • Denny Januar Ali

    The 52-year-old Indonesian political analyst and pollster is an unlikely candidate to compete with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter. But in a country where politics and social media have become intertwined, his June tweet backing then-presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was retweeted more than 1 million times, becoming at the time the second most shared missive in the site’s history (after DeGeneres’ infamous Oscars selfie). Jokowi won the election, and Januar Ali continues to share his political insight to his 2 million followers.—N.R.

  • Anita Sarkeesian

    Anita Sarkeesian
    AP

    Amid the #Gamergate controversy, this Canadian-American feminist became perhaps the most public critic of sexism in the gaming community (via her blog, YouTube channel and Twitter account), which earned her thousands of fans—and almost as many enemies. (She says she received death threats.) More recently, her blog, Feminist Frequency, got funding from Intel’s initiative to promote diversity in tech.—S.B.

  • Josh Ostrovsky (a.k.a. The Fat Jew)

    Josh Ostrovsky
    Getty Images

    The raunchy comedian is the Internet’s court jester, posting funny photo memes (many of which he lifts from sites like Reddit and Tumblr) and absurdly posed photos of himself, all to the delight—and sometimes chagrin—of his 3.2 million Instagram followers. Now brands have started to pay for exposure to that audience. Last year, Stella Artois flew Ostrovsky to the Cannes Film Festival where he partied with Sharon Stone and poured rosé all over himself (for an Instagram photo). Ostrovsky is also eyeing more traditional media, working on a book and shows for Amazon and Comedy Central.—S.G.

  • Brandon Stanton

    Photographer Brandon Stanton attends the Little Humans of New York panel at 2014 New York Comic Con Day 4 at Jacob Javitz Center on October 12, 2014 in New York City.
    Michael Stewart—WireImage/Getty Images

    The 30-year-old photographer behind Humans of New York, the massively popular photo blog, has more than 15 million fans across social media. But his biggest moment happened earlier this year, when he posted a photo of Vidal Chastanet, a 13-year-old student from Brownsville, a neighborhood with one of the highest crime rates in New York. In the caption, Chastanet revealed the person who inspired him most: his principal, Ms. Lopez, because “when we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains how society was built around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.” The post eventually sparked a fundraising campaign (set up by Stanton) to send sixth graders from Chastanet’s school to visit Harvard. The initial goal was set at $100,000. In less than three weeks, it raised nearly $1.5 million.—Ashley Ross

  • J.K. Rowling

    J.K. Rowling attends the Lumos fundraising event hosted by J.K. Rowling at The Warner Bros. Harry Potter Tour on November 9, 2013 in London, England.
    Getty Images

    The author, 49, has given Harry Potter new life online, answering fan questions, teasing future projects and revealing uberviral plot extras to her 4.2 million followers on Twitter. Among the buzziest ones: A cryptic riddle about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Potter spinoff screenplay she’s writing, and the fact that there are Jewish wizards at Hogwarts. She’s also especially giving on her fansite, Pottermore, which crashed last July after Rowling posted a new story about Harry Potter as a 30-something.—A.R.

  • Narendra Modi

    Narendra Modi
    Getty Images

    The Indian Prime Minister has roughly 38 million total followers on Twitter and Facebook, more than any other leader in the world except President Obama. And unlike many of his contemporaries, Modi recognizes that social media can be invaluable when trying to reach India’s 200 million-plus online population directly. Last year, for example, he announced President Obama’s upcoming visit to India on Twitter, bypassing traditional media outlets.—N.R.

  • Jimmy Fallon

    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
    Getty Images

    Whereas his Tonight Show predecessor, Jay Leno, traded in bits that were fun but ultimately disposable, 40-year-old Fallon—who came of age with the -Internet—creates can’t-miss moments engineered to go viral. Among them: reuniting the cast of Saved by the Bell nearly 22 years after the finale and coaxing actress Emma Stone into lip-synching to “All I Do Is Win.” That verve has made The Tonight Show a virtual powerhouse. Fallon himself touts 22 million followers on Twitter, more than quadruple the number of rival host Jimmy Kimmel. And his show has 6 million subscribers on YouTube, dwarfing figures from Comedy Central and The Late Show With David Letterman (170,000). “Time slot doesn’t matter to me,” Fallon has said. “If people want to see you, they’ll find you.” To wit: NBC estimates that 70% of The Tonight Show views are happening online.—D.D.

  • Caitlin McNeill

    Is this dress white and gold or black and blue? It’s a question the whole world was asking last week, and the person who prompted it was McNeill, a 21-year-old Scottish singer and guitarist, who uploaded the dress photo from a wedding in Colonsay. Within days, her Tumblr entry had been aggregated by BuzzFeed and virtually every other media outlet, and hundreds of millions of people had weighed in on the debate, including Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian. Eventually, Roman, the U.K. brand that sells the dress, settled the debate: although the optics in the photo are undeniably wonky, the dress is definitely black and blue.—O.B.W.

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