Searching for prescient information on the Internet proved to be a somewhat tricky affair, however.
For example, using Google Search to tease out prescient mentions of "Pope Francis" or "Comet ISON" turned out to be "unreliable." As did Google's competitor Bing.com. The researchers then turned to social media for help. They carried out searches of all the popular social sites including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Facebook, however, was another unreliable source of prescient messages as the platform allows back-dated messages to be published.
Twitter, it seems, reigned supreme. Yay Twitter.
"Our most comprehensive search for potentially prescient Internet content was achieved using the microblogging Internet platform Twitter," they wrote.
ANALYSIS: Time Travel? Don't Forget to Pack Your Wormhole
Assuming our temporal travelers were social media savvy, Nemiroff and Wilson found that hashtags ("#") were an especially useful tool for their hunt. They therefore tried to weed-out any mention of #cometison or #popefrancis before the events themselves occurred.