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After Michael Jackson’s death and Trump election, Las Vegas shooting recorded saddest day on Twitter

11-October-2017
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After Michael Jackson’s death and Trump election, Las Vegas shooting recorded saddest day on Twitter

Twitter, a credible news platform today, is one of the most sought after medium to vent out one’s emotion with regard to any tragic or joyous event. Over the years Twitter has served well to reach out to people even during catastrophic events and terrorist attacks.

One such story came just last week when Las Vegas witnessed a horrific evening when a gunman massacred 59 people and injured several others. This event was recorded by Hedonometer (a tool that measures the happiness of Twitter users based on words they use in their posts) as the saddest day on the micro-blogging platform.

The Hedonometer uses an algorithm that scans a random 50 million (or 10 percent) of all global messages on Twitter written in English. It then tracks the most frequently used 10,000 English words on a happiness scale the researchers devised and throws away neutral filler words (like in, and, or of) to arrive at an average measure of our collective joy or sorrow.

On their scale of 1 to 9, 9 is pure happiness, and on the average day the mood on Twitter hovers around 6 to 6.1 — relatively high numbers the researchers attribute to the fact that there are more positive than negative words in the English language.

On October 2, the scale dropped down to 5.7. Twitter users were using somber words like tragedy, victims, gun, dead, evil, and killed — the language that the algorithm tagged as negative.

By this measure, Twitter users were sadder about Trump becoming president than they were when Michael Jackson died.

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