With the rampant proliferation of fictitious stories that are presented as legitimate news, new methods of sorting out real information from faux news stories has become increasingly important, especially as the real-world implications of the manipulation of information on social media are becoming drastically more apparent.
The quest to find those who have come back from the future all started over a poker game.
Astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff and his students were playing cards (for chips) last summer, chatting about Facebook. They wondered: If there were time travelers among us, would they be on social media? How would you find them? Could you Google them?
“We had a whimsical little discussion about this,” said Nemiroff, a professor at Michigan Technological University. The result was a serious-but-fun effort to tease out travelers from the future by sifting through the Internet. Unfortunately, they have uncovered no DeLorean time machines, but that hasn’t made the search less interesting.