Back to the Future Hoax Claims the Future Has Arrived... Again

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
June 27 2012 5:00 PM

Sorry, Back to the Future Fans, the Future Still Isn’t Here Yet

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Image courtesy of Simply Tap

A viral Facebook and Twitter post has Back to the Future fans declaring that the future has arrived. Don't shoot the messenger, but it hasn’t.

The post shows a still image from the scene in Back to the Future II in which Doc and Marty set the DeLorean’s dials to a day some 25 years in the future. The image circulating on social media shows the date as June 27, 2012.

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That might sound plausible, as long as you didn’t fall for the exact same hoax two years ago. Back then, Internet pranksters altered the date to read July 5, 2010.

For those still holding out hope of a future filled with hoverboards and self-lacing Nikes, the actual date shown in the film is still more than three years away: Oct. 21, 2015.  

UPDATE: Mystery solved! The original hoax, in 2010, was the work of the film website Total Film, which confessed to posting the altered image as a joke. This time around it seems the post first appeared on the Facebook page of the mobile checkout app Simply Tap, which is promoting a box set of Back to the Future DVDs.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.