A national newspaper has denied it closed a poll and removed it from its website after readers voted JK Rowling ‘Person of the Year 2021’. 

Twitter users had accused The Guardian of deleting the poll – said to have been launched after Elon Musk was revealed as the Time magazine Person of the Year – after it looked like the Harry Potter author was going to win.  

Ms Rowling has courted controversy with a series of battles with over sex-based rights, and has faced criticism from trans rights campaigners, leading to her becoming something of a hate figure to many online.   

READ MORE: Trans-rights activists publish author's home address on the internet

However, despite the story being circulated widely online and featuring in several other publications, it has now emerged there never was a poll, and Guardian readers had only been invited to submit suggestions for their own top person of 2021.   

The story appears to have been the work of internet hoaxers, who succeeded in convincing people across the globe a poll had been held then abandoned when it looked like Ms Rowling might win.  

HeraldScotland:

The article as it appears on The Guardian website 

A line at the bottom of the original article which read "this form has been deactivated and is closed to any further submissions," was used by many as "evidence" of there being a pulled poll. 

A Guardian News and Media spokesperson informed Newsweek that there was no poll and dismissed comments from social media. 

The spokesperson said: "Contrary to what you may have read on Twitter, there was no poll, and the Guardian does not run a person of the year feature. 

"Nothing has been canceled. We regularly invite readers to share their views on issues in the news." 

Ms Rowling features among a number of people nominated by Guardian readers for their ‘Person of the Year’, which includes the footballer Marcus Rashford, Greta Thunberg and health and social care workers. 

HeraldScotland:  Greta Thunberg

The Guardian's Person of the Year article was published last week. 

The Harry Potter author was nominated by a 45-year-old identified as ‘Michelle’ from Wiltshire, who wrote: “Superb writer and it’s her way of writing that has/still does, encourage children to read.  

“Despite having experienced domestic abuse in her personal life, she uses her experiences and voice to centre women and children so that a wide audience is aware of the vulnerabilities children and women can face in today’s society.  

“She donates to charities so is aware of her hard earned position and wants to give back to those in need. She is very inspiring for women and is supportive of women’s rights, despite people trying to drag her down.”