According to study, negativity outnumbers good on social media.

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According to study, negativity outnumbers good on social media.

According to a study, political social media posts that criticize an opponent are more likely to go viral than those that praise a colleague or a point of view from their own political party.

Researchers looked at over three million tweets and Facebook posts from US media outlets and politicians and discovered that those insulting opponents received twice as many shares as those supporting a person or viewpoint from their own political party.

The findings of the University of Cambridge study, which were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also demonstrate that posts criticizing political opponents on Facebook drew more than twice as many furious face emojis as positive posts did.

According to our findings, out-of-party hatred is considerably more effective at attracting our attention online than in-party affection. This could be contributing to a potentially hazardous political situation.

“Slamming the political opposition was the most powerful predictor of a message becoming viral out of all those we measured,” said Steve Rathje, a Gates Cambridge Scholar and research author. On Facebook and Twitter, this was true for both Republican and Democratic-leaning media sites and politicians.

“In order to sell advertising, social media keeps us as engaged as possible. This commercial model has resulted in politicians and media companies being rewarded for creating contentious content that they use to smear perceived enemies.

“According to our findings, out-party hatred is considerably more effective at attracting our attention online than in-party affection. This could be contributing to a very hazardous political climate.”

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