Total Film is taking responsibility for a totally false meme that spread through Twitter yesterday, although I’m not 100% sure I believe they started it (intentionally). If you were on the massive social network on July 5th, you probably saw someone tweet that it was Back to the Future day – ie, the date that Doc Brown plugged into the DeLorean when he intended to travel into the future, before the Libyans showed up. Turns out that was just not true.
While Total Film says they started the hoax, I think the whole thing was just a mistake. This past weekend was the 25th anniversary of the release of Back to the Future, and I suspect that someone remembered that Doc Brown intended to travel 25 years into the future. Instead of correctly remembering the in-film date – October – they assumed Doc Brown was traveling forward from the film’s release. Total Film was likely among many who just didn’t know what they were talking about.
What’s interesting to me is how quickly this spread, and with so little resistance. I’m old enough to remember when the internet was a new thing, and it was supposed to make us smarter. Photoshop was supposed to make us more skeptical. But it seems that humans are just as much a bunch of credulous schmucks as they have always been. What’s disturbing is the number of movie journalist types who tweeted this false info; for me it’s an indicator of how many of my colleagues have become reliant on just regurgitating something printed elsewhere without looking into it or even thinking too much about it.
If you fell for the disinfo and were one of the thousands who retweeted the story, don’t feel bad – even Back to the Future producer Frank Marshall thought it was true.
And just so I don’t end this story as a total crank, enjoy this guy’s attempt to create a real self-tightening sneaker, as seen in Back to the Future II.