How Rants on Social Media Can Come Back to Haunt You

UC Davis study finds that negative chat has a much longer tail and stronger snowball effect than positive chat

By Karen Nikos-Rose

We all know that those angry rants on social media can come back to hurt you—and sooner than you think. “Good,” positive chat resonates for a few seconds, generally, but negative chat, even in a chat room where exchanges happen more immediately than on Facebook or Twitter, persists for many minutes, new UC Davis research suggests.

Seth Frey

Cognitive scientist Seth Frey used millions of chat room messages to study how positive and negative messages reflected back to their senders.