Anger Spreads Fastest On Social Media
Posted: September 17, 2013 by Emily Brown
A recent study implies that anger spreads like wildfire across social media. So, if you want to get your message heard on a social network, get angry!
Researchers of China's Beijing University has recently analyzed the trajectory of emotions across social-media site Weibo (a Twitter-like service), and came up with rather surprising results in the process. Looking to find out how writers' posts were influenced by the content of those in his or her network, they arrived at the following conclusions:
- Feelings of "sadness" or "disgust" won't get very far if they are shared with the world. In fact, they will hardly get any traction;
- Feelings of joy and all those spreading it like Father Christmas, may get a muted impact, i.e., more of your friends might respond or imitate your post;
- But feelings of anger? They will rise to social-media glory, spreading faster, and casting a wider net throughout your social network than any other kind of sentiment.
Before you start lamenting the human condition, you should know that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. As researchers note, most of the angry posts were provoked by politics in Weibo's native China. This means that there's a chance that the rest of the internet users have a rosier outlook on life.