A Case Study
In a world where access to knowledge is being threatened, how do you inspire people to protect it?
What will our life online be like in 25 years? Will knowledge be free and open?
To bring this question to life, the Internet Archive created the Wayforward Machine, an interactive tool that takes you to the year 2046, to experience the many ways our online world is being threatened by surveillance, censorship, paywalls and political firewalls.
A riff on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (our search engine and archive of 685 billion webpages), the Wayforward Machine anchored a social campaign spanning hundreds of pieces of content, amplified by 14 global partners, generating media coverage in more than 30 news outlets.
New Twitter Channel:
Broadcasting from 25 years in the future, our new Twitter account @IA2046 spun a dystopian tale of the Internet Archive and its allies fighting to preserve knowledge on the brink of destruction.
Featuring futuristic animated videos and take-overs by a dozen campaign partner organizations, our month-long immersive Twitter experiment inspired followers to fight with us to protect our digital rights.
Partner organizations also fighting to preserve knowledge and promote human rights rose to the challenge, creating their own storylines, graphics, and animations. Our global partners were able to build awareness of their present day work, while having a little fun in this future world.
Wow, I just learned so much from the archives about how activists met the challenges of their time and led human rights change. Thanks for taking me there, Wayback Machine v2046!— InternetArchive2046 (@IA2046) October 8, 2021
I’d love to stay, but I think I need to go home now with this new knowledge. pic.twitter.com/8HMwaVsyVw
→ follow the takeover by @witnessorg
Thanks for checking in @IA2046. Our solar seems to be stable now—wish we could have chimed in sooner, but such is life on antisurveillancetopia. We have enough juice to break through for the next hour and share some of what’s happened since 2021. #IA2046 https://t.co/hIzCL6uVGL— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) October 20, 2021
→ follow the thread by @fightfortheftr
So, here in 2046, authors are left without the essential protections, partners, and outlets they used to rely on to create and share their writings. Their works cease to reach readers because the public cannot access books and articles. It has been devastating. #IA2046 pic.twitter.com/Z3fKJ7efHu— Authors Alliance (@Auths_Alliance) October 13, 2021
→ follow the thread by @Auths_Alliance
Some of our most creative posts came from our @IA2046 followers. They produced futuristic videos, news announcements, and entirely new storylines we never would have imagined.
Our “Imagining Dystopia” timeline from 2021-2046 featured the future political, social and economic events that lead to a vast loss of access, privacy and security in our online lives.
Our Wayforward Campaign generated news coverage in more than 30 outlets, from the US to Poland, France to Mexico. Here are a few examples:
“Wayforward Machine” provides a glimpse into the future of the web
Carcomen ventanas de spam y anuncios emergentes futuro de Internet