Is aggression contagious online? A case of swearing on Donald Trump's campaign videos on YouTube

K. Hazel Kwon, Anatoliy Gruzd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study explores whether aggressive text-based interactions in social media are contagious. In particular, we examine swearing behaviour of YouTube commentators in response to videos and comments posted on the official Donald Trump's campaign channel. Our analysis reveals the presence of mimicry of verbal aggression. Specifically, swearing in a parent comment is significantly and positively associated with the likelihood and intensity of swearing in subsequent 'children' comments. The study also confirms that swearing is not solely a product of an individual speech habit but also a spreadable social practice. Based on the findings, we conclude that aggressive emotional state can be contagious through textual mimicry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 50th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2017
EditorsTung X. Bui, Ralph Sprague
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages2165-2174
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780998133102
StatePublished - 2017
Event50th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2017 - Big Island, United States
Duration: Jan 3 2017Jan 7 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume2017-January
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference50th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Island
Period1/3/171/7/17

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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