April 4, 2020
The coronavirus mass hysteria is tormenting people.
Italian-based artificial intelligence company Expert System has been searching through tens of thousands of social media posts to track feelings towards COVID-19.
They used a range of natural language systems to capture the emotional view of different English language social media posts related to the pandemic.
The team plan to publish a daily update showing the changing attitudes and emotions surrounding the spread of the virus and efforts to slow it down.
For the fourth day in a row fear has been the most dominant emotion expressed in posts, with all negative views increasing across the English-language world.
Sadness, anxiety and dissolution are the other dominant emotions being shared on social media over the past few days, according to Expert System.
The emotion tracker found that positive emotions were declining but love and excitement were still prominent in posts related to COVID-19.
More than 65,000 social media posts were studied by the team’s systems over 24 hours and they showed an increase in negative feelings from 43.7 per cent of all posts to 44 per cent.
Compared to yesterday, the percentage of neutral emotions expressed on social media is down from 32.2 per cent to 30.5 per cent.
The team found that over the past 24 hours positive emotions expressed on social media posts have decreased to 25.5 per cent from 27.8 per cent.
‘There are many reasons why fear is growing,’ the team wrote in their daily update.
‘The most important of which is fear of the growing number of new cases, and therefore the fear of more lives in danger.
‘The second reason concerns the ability of the healthcare system to respond.’
The lockdown and quarantine policies, the social distancing and isolation, the loss of jobs and the destruction of the economy, and the constant bombardment of news about people dying, are only a few examples of what’s likely to be contributing to people feeling this way.
We’re going to live to see more suicides than flu deaths.