Website cites Boston Marathon bombing as Twitter’s ‘saddest day’

Neighbors hug under a U.S. flag as they arrive for a candlelight vigil in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts April 16, 2013 where eight-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard lived. Credit: Reuters
Neighbors hug under a U.S. flag as they arrive for a candlelight vigil in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts April 16, 2013 where eight-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard lived. Credit: Reuters

Twitter has become an invaluable tool for everyone. As reporters, it helps Metro on a daily basis. Beyond that it provides us with the endless entertainment, silly links and amazing gifs of cats.

In a time of crisis it can also be an excellent tool to express feelings. This is especially true during events like the Boston Marathon.

A new website has produced metrics that state April 15, 2013, the day of the Boston Marathon bombings, as the saddest day on the Twitter in the last five years.

Hedonometer.com uses tweets to establish whether the users’ moods are positive or negative.

For negative days, the site picks up on words such as “victims” and “tragedy.” For positive days the site picks up on phrases such as “hahaha.”

According to Poynter, Hedonometer uses a sample of about 50 million tweets per day, which is only a small percentage of the daily tweets.

Stephanie Pappas of LiveScience.com writes:

“The saddest day of them all was the date of the Boston Marathon bombings, with a happiness score of 5.88 on a scale of 1 to 9. But even though it had less-sad score, Dec. 14, 2012, the date of the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, may have actually been sadder, Danforth said.

That’s because the Newtown shooting happened on a Friday, a generally happy day when people otherwise would be tweeting positive vibes, he said. The Boston bombings happened on a Monday, when unrelated grouchy tweets about returning to work would have driven the average happiness down.”

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant

 


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