If you signed up for Twitter with the hopes of getting a message from your future self one day, this news is going to disappoint you: there are apparently no time travelers on Twitter. And there’s a study to prove it.
It might have started as a semi-serious classroom discussion, but the question of whether time travelers are using social media to communicate with those of us stuck in the present now has an answer… and the answer is no.
Researchers at Michigan Technological University published a study titled “Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers” that explored possible sources of evidence online that could point to travelers from the future trying to send us messages.
Robert Nemiroff and Teresa Wilson were looking for one thing that would verify a time traveler’s existence: posting about historical events before they became public knowledge. They poured over posts on Twitter, Facebook Google+ and search engines to discover whether a time traveler had slipped up and posted about something before it happened.
Specifically, they sought evidence of digital pre-cognition about two topics: the comet ISON, which was discovered in September 2012 and any mentions of Pope Francis before he became Pope on March 16 2013.
They also went into a message board and asked any time travelers who wanted to be discovered to go into their own past and tweet #ICanChangeThePast2 or #ICannotChangeThePast2… but they didn’t find any tweets pre-dating the request.
Although they didn’t discover evidence of time traveling tweeters, the researchers didn’t quite throw in the towel. The report notes that it might by physically impossible for time travelers to leave information trails, or for us to see them. Or, maybe, time travelers simply don’t want to be found.
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