I find this moderately sad (do not share)

One study of 7,000 New York Times articles by two professors at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School found that sad stories were the least shared because sadness is a low-arousal, negative state. People were more likely to share positive stories because it was a way to show generosity and boost their reputations. Sharing pleasant things in public made them appear nice themselves.

That is from a gated piece by John Gapper.  To paraphrase Robin Hanson, “sharing isn’t about sharing.”

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sadness must be suppressed...it tends to depress consumer purchases. Happy Smiley Faces uber alles!

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>Sharing pleasant things in public made them appear nice themselves.< aka the Upworthy business model. BTW I only know of Upworthy, having never visited the site, from this article on Smarm .

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Aren't "anger" and "awe" the most relevant predictors of sharing, and positivity not so much? That's how I read their regression coefficients (Table 4).

Hm, is that "awe" awe or "awwwwww" awe? ;)

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I think "outrage" is one of the easiest emotions to share over the Internet.

Did you see what the politician from the other party said? Unbelievable!! Tell all your friends!!11

My favorite is outrage about something which the other side didn't say, but you just know they would have if they had thought about it.

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A large number of the "outrage" shares I get aren't from other people (one brother-in-law excepted) but from organized groups.

Organized groups use "outrage" articles as a fund raising tool -- cynically, IMO.

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> One study of 7,000 New York Times articles by two professors at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School

Man, that's two productive professors...

+1

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+1

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No wonder so few economics posts are shared. And how surprising so many political ones are.

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Doe this explain TED?

'does', clearly

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Yeah, that seems likely, doesn't it?

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What a depressing story. I don't think I'll mention it to anyone. ;)

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Oversharing unactionable bad news is indeed a negative externality.

No, I do not feel that good when I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief perhaps I'd rob them
And now I know you're dissatisfied with your position and your place
Don't you understand, it's not my problem

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment, I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time, you could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you

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If it is a sad post,

You don't have to ask people not to share.

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More on this is in Jonah Berger's excellent book Contagious.

Agreed. Surprise gets shared the most. As does self-linking to a site that also carries your post. So, when Tyler comments here on something he posted in the NYTimes, and recommends you read it there, readership moves to Tylers NYTimes Post, which then raises Tylers post to the most frequently read category.

A twofer.

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It seems songs used to be more sad than they currently are. At leeast when I was young, there were a ton of sad country music songs which isn't as true in pop country today
I wonder if its possible to compare sadness before big data? Is this just a current mind set or does it measure a human nature eternal?

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"Sharing" is a repellent usage. Whether it's more or less dishonest than "issues" is unclear to me.

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Everything in that snippet after "because" is pure conjecture, right?

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The NYT's Most Emailed list is clearly driven largely by older women emailing self-help articles to friends and loved ones (e.g., a new medical treatment, how to get into Harvard, etc.). The Most Blogged list is clearly driven by older men who are into Democrat v. Republican political battles. I find the Most Emailed list substantially less boring than the Most Blogged list.

Today's NYT Most Emailed List:

1. PRIVATE LIVES Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead

2. OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR Cold Turkey Isn’t the Only Route [how to get alcoholics to go easy on the booze]

3. A Speck in the Sea

4. EDITORIAL Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower

5. TOOL KIT Cleaning the Mobile Germ Warehouse

6. STATE OF THE ARTCivilian Photography, Now Rising to New Level

7. Life Goes On, at Long Last

8. THE FLEXITARIAN Sustainable Resolutions for Your Diet

9. 36 Hours in Chicago

10. Loan Monitor Is Accused of Ruthless Tactics on Student Debt

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Today's Most Blogged list at the NYT:

Most Blogged »

Articles most frequently blogged by NYTimes.com readers

Editorial: Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower
Op-Ed Contributor: The Obamacare We Deserve
Boehner Is Said to Back Change on Immigration
Justice Blocks Contraception Mandate on Insurance in Suit by Nuns
Loan Monitor Is Accused of Ruthless Tactics on Student Debt
Consumers Start Using Coverage Under Health Law
Taking Office, de Blasio Vows to Fix Inequity
I Had My DNA Picture Taken, With Varying Results
Bomb Attacks in Russia Echo Threats by Chechen Insurgent
Chinese Copter Rescues 52 From Ship in Antarctic Ice

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A possible counter-example: right now, the most shared article of the french newspaper Le Monde is titled "Devant une salle comble, Dieudonné martèle son humor anti-juif", very roughly "in front of a full room, Dieudonné repeats his antisemitic jokes". Of course one can't be sure, but it is most likely that for most of the people sharing this article, this is "bad news"
about the rise of antisemitic speech in France. Perhaps the result of the study would have been different in France...

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