Sho Tsugawa, Hiroyuki Ohsaki, “On the relation between Message Sentiment and its virality on Social Media, Social Network Analysis and Mining, 7, 1, 2017.
Abstract: We investigate the relation between the sentiment of a message on social media and its virality, defined as the volume and speed of message diffusion. We analyze 4.1 mil- lion messages (tweets) obtained from Twitter. Although factors affecting message diffusion on social media have been studied previously, we focus on message sentiment and reveal how the polarity of message sentiment affects its virality. The virality of a message is characterized by the number of message repostings (retweets) and the time elapsed from the original posting of a message to its Nth reposting (N-retweet time). Through extensive analysis using the 4.1 million tweets and their retweets in one week, we discover that negative messages are likely to be reposted more rapidly and frequently than positive and neutral messages.
Specifically, the reposting volume of negative messages is 20–60% higher than that of positive and neutral messages, and negative messages spread 25% faster than positive and neutral messages when the diffusion volume is quite high. We also perform longitudinal analysis of message diffusion observed over one year, and find that recurrent diffusion of negative messages is less frequent than that of positive and neutral messages. Moreover, we present a simple message diffusion model that can reproduce the characteristics of message diffusion observed in this paper.