This is an add-on to Time & The Hyperreal (part 6B), which was very half-baked.
One way that OSINT investigators use to establish timelines in social media is via official timestamps on content as it was published onto social media networks.
Now, in the world of the hyperreal, normal people don’t think like OSINT investigators, so such concerns are largely irrelevant to the hyperreal artist. It should be considered instead as just another value to be manipulated.
Spreading networked/transmedia content out across platforms & in time is always a good idea though, since it will make the content look more authentic if its distribution is not all clustered on one day or site.
That said, there are other simple ways to play havoc with time-stamps.
One great one is actually WordPress. As part of the publishing process, I can put any time-stamp onto it that I want, whether its in the past or the future. I can also even pay someone to guest post my content on other sites (via Fiverr, etc) and have them manipulate the time-stamps as well.
A skilled OSINT investigator might be able to catch you up by doing a date-range search for your content within the alleged time-stamp period. But not finding the content doesn’t necessarily equal proof that it did not indeed exist at that time. It may just have not been indexed, or its URL could have changed for various reasons.
But again, normal people don’t care. They don’t operate like that. They click like & retweet, and that’s it. So you might spend a lot of effort trying to manipulate data points that don’t amount to the difference between an inciting incident & a dud.
A short path to manipulating time as a perceived value is simply to just POST THE TIME-STAMP YOU WANT IN THE PUBLISHED CONTENT. In a sense, press releases already do this. You’ll see the location, source, and supposed date of the event or of publication. So you can literally do the same thing when you post hyperreal artifacts: invent the time & date that suits your narrative best, and embed it into the body of the artifact. Done.
Won’t necessarily bear inspection if someone challenges the time-stamp, but 1) probably won’t need to, and 2) you could always say the discrepancy is because of when the content was re-published to the given platform (versus its [non-existant] source having published it at a different time-stamp).
Here’s an example artifact with an invented date published onto a no-password UGC site called write.as (archived). Interestingly, this website doesn’t even seem to publicly expose the “true” time-stamp anywhere at all on this page (perhaps its in the source code somewhere?). So the invented one will likely be all most people ever concern themselves with (if they even notice at all)
This example actually uses quite a few different techniques though, so I will have to come back to it later & expand on all of them.