Moral outrage on Twitter is contagious

Seeing outrage tweets make us more likely to express outrage
07 September 2021
Presented by Sally Le Page
Production by Sally Le Page.




Twitter has been the subject of another study, looking at how people’s tendency to post tweets in moral outrage is affected by other people on the site. Increasingly in recent years, celebrities and other well-known individuals have found themselves being “cancelled”. This usually happens when they do or say something that other users disagree with. The outpourings of outrage reverberate across the social network with many piling in publicly to scorn and humiliate the perpetrator. But why do people resort to this Twitter equivalent of lobbing rotten tomatoes at someone in the stocks? Researchers at Yale University looked at over 7000 real Tweets, and experimented on 250 real life Twitterers to show that people do it because they think others will approve and salute their virtuousness, as Sally Le Page heard, from lead author William Brady...


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