The Greatest Internet Heroes of 2012 People
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The Greatest Internet Heroes of 2012

Internet heroes are those people who inspire the masses, who use the Internet to do amazing or enlightening things and who most perfectly exemplify the virtues around which online citizens from around the world have been rallying for years. (These virtues include transparency and honesty, a lighthearted sense of humor about even controversial or disagreeable subjects and, above all, a commitment to the freedom of expression online.) Though some of the people on this list were celebrities and public figures before 2012, all of them have done something this year that stands out, that made millions of people around the world take notice and cheer them on from blogs, social media networks, message boards, forums and comment sections everywhere.

Many of the individuals on the list come from the world of video games, particularly indie game development. These include "Notch," the infamous creator of underground game sensation "Minecraft," and Tim Schafer, whose Kickstarter campaign for the Double Fine Adventure game raised over $3.3 million. Speaking of online fundraising, that was also the claim to fame of bus monitor Karen Klein, for whom the Internet raised hundreds of thousands of dollars after a video went viral showing her being bullied by middle school students. Comedian Louis CK also made waves in 2012 for selling his comedy special, "Live at the Beacon Theater," exclusively through his website for $5, and then putting tickets to his latest tour on the Web as well.

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    age 65 William James "Bill" Murray is an American actor and comedian. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live for which he earned an Emmy Award and later went on to star in comedy films,

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    age 57 Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator. Since 1996, he has been the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center

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    age 48 Louis Székely, known professionally as Louis C.K., is an American comedian, actor, and filmmaker. He is the creator, star, writer, director, and editor of the acclaimed FX comedy series Louie.

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    age 45 Nick Offerman is an American actor, writer, humorist, and carpenter widely known for his breakout role as Ron Swanson in the acclaimed NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, for which he received the

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    Matthew Inman Matthew Inman is the owner of website The Oatmeal.

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    age 65 Ronald N. "Ron" Perlman is an American television, film, and voice actor. He is best known for his roles as Vincent in the television series Beauty and the Beast, as the comic book character

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    age 48 Anderson Hays Cooper is an American journalist, author, and television personality. He is the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°. The program is normally broadcast live from

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    age 34 Thomas William "Tom" Hiddleston is an English actor. He is known for playing the character of Loki in the Marvel Studios films Thor, The Avengers, and Thor: The Dark World. He has also

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    age 80 Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author, and former Republican congressman, two-time Republican presidential candidate, and the presidential nominee of the Libertarian

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    Gooby pls.

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    age 48 Joseph James "Joe" Rogan is an American stand-up comedian, actor, martial artist, sports commentator, and podcaster. He is known for his work commentating for the Ultimate Fighting

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    Overly Attached Girlfriend

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    Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

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    Reddit

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    age 53 Gabe Logan Newell is the co-founder and managing director of video game development and online distribution company Valve Corporation.

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    Notch

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    age 48 Timothy John Schafer is an American computer game designer. He founded Double Fine Productions in July 2000, after having spent over a decade at LucasArts. Schafer is best known as the designer of

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    Karen Klein

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    age 38 Rob Delaney is originally from Boston. He attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He performs stand up regularly at the top comedy venues in Los Angeles, New York, and various clubs

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    Omgpop

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    Jeremiah McDonald

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    Walter Burien Walter has experience in money both private, & public. The Man has relentlessly worked to get the message out about the other budget called the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. His website

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    Caine Monroy

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    Stalker Sarah

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    Jason Russell

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