London, Jan 1 (ANI): Want to have more people following you on Twitter or commenting on your blog post? Well, be prepared to resort to flaming to anger and upset people, says a study.
A group of Slovenian and British researchers used something called 'sentiment analysis' to identify emotional content in posts left on the BBC's online discussion forums and the link-sharing website digg.com, reports New Scientist.
The team's algorithms look for features such as keywords, emoticons, and subtle linguistic markers such as misspellings, and use the results to calculate a 'happiness score' for each post.
They have found that long conversation threads are overwhelmingly more emotionally negative than short ones, with happiness scores decreasing logarithmically with the number of messages.
What's more, long conversations almost always start with negative comments.
"If you want a long chat, don't start by saying 'I love this!', at least not online," said Mike Thelwall, of the Statistical Cybermetrics research group in Wolverhampton, UK.
The researchers also noted that avalanches of negative emotion - floods of messages with low happiness scores, spurred by a single post - produce self-organised behaviour amongst users.
Negative emotions accelerate the number of messages sent by users, in turn generating social groups from nowhere, said Thelwall. A single post can quickly generate a community of feeling if it is provocative enough. (ANI)