Emotional divergence influences information spreading in Twitter

Rene Pfitzner, Antonios Garas and Frank Schweitzer

In Proceedings of the 6th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (2012)


We analyze data about the micro-blogging site Twitter using sentiment extraction techniques. From an information per- spective, Twitter users are involved mostly in two processes: information creation and subsequent distribution (tweeting), and pure information distribution (retweeting), with pro- nounced preference to the first. However a rather substantial fraction of tweets are retweeted. Here, we address the role of the sentiment expressed in tweets for their potential after- math. We find that although the overall sentiment (polarity) does not influence the probability of a tweet to be retweeted, a new measure called emotional divergence does have an im- pact. In general, tweets with high emotional diversity have a better chance of being retweeted, hence influencing the dis- tribution of information.