Sad­ness was not quickly shared, and the authors said it required more detailed explo­ration to observe the under­lying reasons.

Christo Wilson, a US-​​based researcher at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston, Mass­a­chu­setts, who was not involved with the work, also under­takes analysis of Weibo.

He said that the head­line result of the latest study was “slightly sen­sa­tional as the research does not back this up”.

Dr Wilson told BBC News: “The authors show that people who have a par­tic­ular emo­tional dis­po­si­tion tend to group together and interact with each other, but whether the infor­ma­tion will spread beyond that angry group is dif­fi­cult to predict.

The work def­i­nitely shows that accounts that tend to post angry stuff tend to group together, but from that you cannot nec­es­sarily infer the spread of infor­ma­tion. That claim is too strong.”

Read the article at BBC News →