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Internet Archive: Forget the Wayback Machine, there is now also a Wayforward Machine

To mark its 25th anniversary, the Internet Archive digital library has upped the ante by launching a new Wayforward Machine.

Unlike its Wayback Machine, which is able to teleport users back in time to see what websites looked like in the past, the Wayforward Machine predicts what sites will look like in 2046.

Offering a glimpse into the possible future of the World Wide Web, the Internet Archive says its new initiative highlights several issues that could arise in the future, particularly regarding censorship, regulation and government interference.

The future of websites

Are you looking to answer questions such as “What will the Internet look like in the future?” Or “Will we have access to knowledge and information?” – the Wayforward Machine explores whether the world will have access to reliable information online and whether knowledge will be free and open.

Test the initiative using the TechToSee URL, a pop-up asking users to enter their biometric information before accessing the website covers the screen.

Elsewhere, using the popular e-commerce site Amazon.com on the Wayforward Machine, a pop-up asking users to pay $ 29 to access the site appears onscreen – and the Internet Archive predicts that social media platforms like Twitter will no longer exist.

The Wayforward Machine showing a paywall to access Amazon

The Wayforward Machine showing a paywall to access Amazon (Image credit: Internet Archive)

In an effort to raise awareness of internet freedom, the Internet Archive has created a timeline from 2022 to 2046 alongside the Wayforward Machine, with several predictions.

The Internet Archive believes that by 2026 there will be more stringent regulations that will force major shutdowns in the tech sector.

By 2031, the Internet Archive also predicts that the United States will follow other countries in adopting strict digital regulations.

TechToSee Pro has contacted the Internet Archive to find out how long this initiative will last and what changes she hopes to see soon.

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