Negative emotions boost user activity at BBC forum
Anna Chmiel , Paweł Sobkowicz , Julian Sienkiewicz , Georgios Paltoglou , Kevan Buckley , Mike Thelwall , Janusz Hołyst
AbstractWe present an empirical study of user activity in online BBC discussion forums, measured by the number of posts written by individual debaters and the average sentiment of these posts. Nearly 2.5 million posts from over 18 thousand users were investigated. Scale-free distributions were observed for activity in individual discussion threads as well as for overall activity. The number of unique users in a thread normalized by the thread length decays with thread length, suggesting that thread life is sustained by mutual discussions rather than by independent comments. Automatic sentiment analysis shows that most posts contain negative emotions and the most active users in individual threads express predominantly negative sentiments. It follows that the average emotion of longer threads is more negative and that threads can be sustained by negative comments. An agent-based computer simulation model has been used to reproduce several essential characteristics of the analyzed system. The model stresses the role of discussions between users, especially emotionally laden quarrels between supporters of opposite opinions, and represents many observed statistics of the forum.
|Journal series||Physica A-Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, ISSN 0378-4371, (A 30 pkt)|
|Keywords in English||Agent modeling, Collective phenomena, Emotions, Internet communities, Scale-free distributions|
|Project||Collective Emotions in Cyberspace . Project leader: Hołyst Janusz,
, Phone: 22 234 7133, start date 01-02-2009, end date 31-07-2013, FP7 Grant Agreement 231323, Completed
|Publication indicators||= 82; : 2014 = 1.253; : 2011 = 1.373 (2) - 2011=1.374 (5)|
|Citation count*||178 (2020-01-17)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.