Boston Marathon bombings 'saddest' day on Twitter in 5 years

Twitter data reveals that the Boston Marathon bombings was the 'saddest' day on Twitter in five years.

Guess how someone using Twitter data may have arrived at this conclusion? Yes, you guessed it right -- By keeping a tab on the Negative and Positive words people used in their Tweets.

Boston Marathon bombings 'saddest' day in five years on Twitter:

A five-year look at global happiness, courtesy of millions of English-language tweets have revealed that the April 15, 2013, the date of the Boston Marathon bombings, was the saddest recorded day on Twitter in five years. This is according to a measure of global happiness created by using Twitter data. The finding comes from researchers at University of Vermont. The researchers have launched a new public website,, that shows daily global mood swings as expressed via Twitter.

As said above, the study looked at the negative words used by English-language users' posts. The negative words include "sad," "victims" and "tragedy," etc. The researchers found that since 2008, the most negative words were encountered on the day of the Boston Marathan Bombings. This also meant, on the day, there was a decline in positive phrases, such as "hahaha" .

The volume of Data Looked at:

The researchers use Twitter's Gardenhose feed to create their "hedonometer", which roughly translates to "happiness meter." This feed is a random sample of about 50 million tweets per day, which represents about a tenth of the messages posted on the site.

An important Observation:

The researchers behind the study, claim that although the Twitter data adjudged the Boston marathaon bombings as the saddest day on Twitter in 5 years, with a happiness score of 5.88 on a scale of 1 to 9; but it may not be the real saddest day, if other variables are taken into account.

These other variables, which the researchers see ever present, with a few major exceptions, are:

1) People are sadder on Mondays and happier on weekends

2) People are Happy on holidays, when they're off of work and with family.

3) Unhappy days, though, happen in response to unexpected events.

4) People respond to negative unexpected events more actively in a negative manner than reacting to happy events in a happy manner.

If these other factors are applied then, the saddest day of them all may be Dec. 14, 2012, the date of the mass shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, Elementary School.

According to Researchers, the Newtown, Connecticut, Elementary School. bombings may be even sadder than the Boston marathon bombings as:

The Newtown shooting happened on a Friday, a generally happy day when people otherwise would be tweeting positive vibes. The Boston bombings happened on a Monday, the first day of the week, when people are normally unhappy, as they are returning to work.

Is Twitter the Happiness Index of Real World? 

A 15 percent of US adults are on Twitter. Researchers say that though a small part of US population. The share is becoming more representative of the US population. Is Twitter the Happiness Index of Real World (here US)?

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