Shouting at the wall: Does negativity drive ideological cross-posting in Brexit Facebook comments?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Using a novel methodological approach to measure emotions in Facebook comments, this Work in Progress (WIP) paper explores the relationship between negative feelings and ideological cross-posting behavior. Using the VoxPopuli data harvester, we collect over 770,000 public Facebook comments1 from the three major political campaign pages active during the Brexit referendum. After sorting users into ideological camps based on their reactions to campaign posts, we then examine their commenting patterns across ideological lines. Using three different methods of sentiment analysis, we identify negative and positive emotions and their fine-grained sub-categories in comments. The analysis reveals one quarter of all comments are cross-ideological posts, with Leave supporters overwhelmingly active in commenting on Remain posts. A comparison across the campaigns shows that Brexiteers are much more likely to express anger than Remainers.


External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
  • University of Zagreb
  • Copenhagen Business School
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Media Studies


  • ACM proceedings, Emotions, Facebook, Marketing, NLP, Political communication, Sentiment analysis
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781450363341
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 18
Publication categoryResearch
Event9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 2018 Jul 182018 Jul 20


Conference9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018