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Facebook status updates contagious, spread like virus: Study

Last Updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 21:50

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: Be cautious while posting updates on your Facebook page as it can have a huge influence on its viewers.

A new research has suggested that the posts on your Facebook Wall – both positive and negative feelings, can impact the moods and posts of friends on your list.

By analysing over a billion anonymised status updates among more than 100 million users of Facebook in the United States, researchers found that positive posts beget positive posts and negative posts beget negative ones, with the positive posts being more influential, or more contagious.
“Our study suggests that people are not just choosing other people like themselves to associate with but actually causing their friends` emotional expressions to change,” said lead author James Fowler, professor of political science in the Division of Social Sciences and of medical genetics in the School of Medicine at UC San Diego.

There is abundant scientific literature on how emotion can spread among people - through direct contact, he added.
The researchers analysed anonymous English-language status updates on Facebook in the top 100 most populous cities in the US over 1,180 days, between January 2009 and March 2012.

The study, carried out by the University of California, San Diego, was published in the journal PlOS ONE.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 15:09

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