Nieman Lab: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing — no, seriously, it is, according to this new research. “People who’ve scanned Facebook for news gain a little knowledge. Why do some of them think they’ve gained a lot? Consider statements like ‘I feel that I need to experience strong emotions regularly’ and ‘I feel like I need a good cry every now and then.’ How much do these statements apply to you?”
Quartz: You can catch a mood from watching YouTube videos. “A new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science is the first to measure the effects of YouTube videos on viewers’ emotional state, according to its authors, psychologists Hannes Rosenbusch, Anthony Evans, and Marcel Zeelenberg from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Previous studies have examined emotional contagion in text-based platforms like Twitter and Facebook, noting that feelings move online from one person to another just as they do in physical environments.”
Nieman Lab: “Angry face” Facebook: Rage now trumps “love” in reactions to legislators’ Facebook posts. “Facebook has gotten angrier since the election: Facebook users are increasingly using the ‘angry’ reaction in response to legislators’ Facebook posts, Pew finds.”
Nautilus: How Social Media Exploits Our Moral Emotions . “Why does this keep happening? Because the architecture of social media exploits our sense of right and wrong, reaping profit from the pleasure we feel in expressing righteous outrage. The algorithms that undergird the flow of information on social media are, like the sensationalist print media and incendiary talk radio that came before them, designed to maximize ad revenue by engaging consumers’ attention to the fullest extent possible. Or as novelist John Green puts it, ‘Twitter is not designed to make you happier or better informed. It’s designed to keep you on Twitter.'”
PLOS: Under the Weather? How social media sentiments reflect weather patterns. “Grey skies getting you down? Research suggests that weather may impact our emotional state. But in a new PLOS ONE study, Patrick Baylis from the University of British Columbia, Nick Obradovich from MIT, and colleagues wanted to find out if specific weather conditions are associated with the positive or negative feelings expressed via social media. The researchers gathered 2.4 billion posts from Facebook and 1.1 billion from Twitter between 2009 and 2016. They used a categorization tool to analyze the sentiment for each post based on its positive and negative keywords. They also examined weather data for the location and date of each post to look for any associations.”
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Your Pretty Face is Going to Sell. “On YouTube, there’s a long tail of content that pretty much guarantees the inclusion of every potential human interest. There are skate videos, makeup tutorials, and backyard surgical removals of blackheads. And yet the presentation of a lot of this content — especially when it’s trying to attract a large audience — is remarkably similar. Everywhere you look, there’s YouTube Face. The Face is hard to miss once you first spot it: an exaggerated expression, an overreaction to a given video’s subject, typically conveying heightened states like disgust, anger, or ecstasy. The assault of a bad smell; a bite of something intensely sour; a faked orgasm; an elbow to the guts.”
Alphr: Twitter tool turns your tweets into an ever-evolving playlist: What’s your Twitter soundtrack?. “Called Social Song, the tool lets you type any Twitter username into it before analysing tweets based on the use of emoji, use of words that convey a certain sentiment (such as happiness or anger), and images that contain certain facial expressions.” This is a nice idea, but every time I tried a different Twitter handle I got music that sounded like the soundtrack of an establishing shot for a Lifetime movie set in New England.