Love, Hate and Social Media

By Sheldon Levine - Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 at 7:30 am  

When you work in the social media space you hear a lot of stories about people complaining through social mediums. You also hear the odd story about people spreading love for causes or brands or people. But, have you ever wondered what the ratio between the two is? I have, because I feel like I hear more negative stories than positive ones.

For no other reason than my pure curiosity I wanted to explore the subject, but I went about it in my own fashion. I decided to explore the ratio of love to hate in the social media space. Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, I ran searches for the words “love” and “hate” appearing in the social space in the last six months. While this wouldn’t show complainers or advocates, it would give me a good idea positive vs negative communication that happens in social media.

When I ran my search for mentions of “love” I found 877 million instances of the word coming up. Over the past six months I found 18,842,902 blog posts, 3,292,762 online news articles, 23,225,482 forum postings and 832,000,448 tweets containing “love.”

I then ran the same search, but for the word “hate.” In this instance I found 1,747,400 blogs, 417,184 online news articles, 6,287,176 forum postings and 208,817,632 tweets. That made up a total of 217 million mentions of “hate” in the past six months.

When I looked at these numbers I was actually quite surprised. The amount of times that “love” was mentioned in social media was four times more than “hate.” That’s quite astounding considering the amount of times I hear bad social media stories to positive ones.

I looked at those comparison numbers spread across time as well. I found it quite interesting that “hate” seemed to be fairly constantly mentioned over time. However “love” seemed to have more spikes in activity at random times. The largest spikes we can see for “love” though are, of course, around February 14th, Valentines day.

The most interesting thing I found while researching this topic was that women seemed to mention these words a lot more than men did. I analyzed the gender ratios for both Twitter and blogs and for each word and in each instance the women came close to doubling the men and up. Does this mean that women actually do express their feelings more than men?

LOVE

Blogs                                                                        Twitter

 

HATE

Blogs                                                                               Twitter

 

Finally, I pulled up a word cloud around each of my searches. Again, I found something quite interesting; a lot of the same words appeared in both word clouds. It seems that some people like to hate certain things, like “people” and “time,” while others love them. See for yourself:

LOVE

HATE

So, after my little investigation, it turns out that there’s a lot more love in social media than hate. Maybe we should be telling more stories about this.

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Love, Hate and Social Media”

  1. Hi Sheldon. It’s an interesting analysis but I wouln’t make conclusions out of it.

    Think about how many people express good or bad feelings without mentioning both words. One instance is the people being ironic about something. That messages could disguise as positive but they are complaining about something.

    Greetings!
    Christian.

  2. Sheldon Levine says:

    Hey Christian,

    You’re absolutely right. There is no scientific merit to this at all other than I thought it would be something fun to look at for a blog post. I really just did it out of my own curiosity.
    However, I did find the results interesting, but they’re far from being conclusive to say that there is more positive things been said in social than negative.

    Cheers,
    Sheldon