Moralism in the social networks turned out to be contagious, scientists have found

© Fotolia / Sergey NivensСоциальные networkMoralism in the social networks turned out to be contagious, scientists have found© Fotolia / Sergey use Nivens

. Emotionally and morally charged social media posts were the most attractive to readers, and best suited for their continued proliferation and survival, say scientists in an article published in the journal PNAS.

«Some politicians, leaders and even the elite can increase their influence, emphasizing the emotion and morality of their messages. On the other hand, such rhetoric will attract only people with the same social and ideological views, but to deter carriers of a different worldview,» said William Brady (William Brady) from new York University (USA).

Win Donald trump in the presidential election in the United States last year, Brickset, as well as the recent successes of the labour party in the parliamentary elections in the UK has led many political analysts and even representatives of the exact Sciences to reflect on what made these politicians or ideas successfully and got them to perform better than expected.

One of the reasons for their success is traditionally considered the fact that trump, Nigel Farage, the leader of the ideological Brekzita, and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the labour party are «early» to win in the global network, gaining huge popularity among users for its emotional performances, vivid opinions and politically incorrect posts to Twitter and other social networks.

Brady and his colleagues found an explanation for this and revealed one of the possible mechanisms of the growing polarization of society and the rise of confrontation between liberals and conservatives in the United States and several other countries, analyzing nearly half a million messages on Twitter regarding three hot topics – climate change, ban weapons and gay marriage.

Scholars interested in what you were doing one or another popular tweet, for which they analyzed the words used most popular and unpopular posts, the way they were arranged and tried to make a set of criteria for «social success».

As it turned out, the success message is actually depended on one parameter, which the team dubbed Brady «the moral infectiousness» – how many emotionally and morally charged words, hashtags and other content they contain. For example, the appearance of each word, such as «attack» (the sanctity of the marriage bond), «destroy» (the myth of global warming) or to hate (gays), increased the likelihood of a retweet or repost on 20%.

Interestingly, the popularity and persistence of such reports increased not for all users of the network, but only for those people who held the same political views as their author. For the ideological opponents of those tweets, on the contrary, became less attractive than the similar content of the message, not containing the moral and ideological components.

As suggested by Brady, this link between emotions, morality and popularity can explain two things – why American society is becoming more and more ideologically charged, and why liberals and conservatives have virtually ceased to perceive each other’s arguments, as their communication has moved from the plane of the arguments and facts in the realm of morality and emotions. In the future, given the nature of social networks and the current trends in them, this trend will only increase, scientists conclude.

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