Anger trumps joy on social networking "emotion meter"

Anyone on social networks like Facebook and Twitter get to see a wide array of emotions coming from friends and family. Happy moments, sad moments, angry moments – everything gets documented for all to see. When it comes to viral spread and reach, the dark side seems to be more powerful.

One well-known feature of social networks is that similar people tend to attract each other: birds of a feather flock together.

So an interesting question is whether these similarities cause people to behave in the same way online, whether it might lead to flocking or herding behaviour, for example.

Today, we get an interesting insight into this phenomena thanks to the work of Rui Fan and pals at Beihang University in China. These guys have compared the way that tweets labelled with specific emotions influence other people on the network.

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