Monday, the day after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, was the saddest day in nine years on Twitter, according to a tool that measures the happiness of users.
Previously, the two measurably saddest days for Twitter came last year — following the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Florida and the day after Donald Trump was elected president.
On the Hedonometer, a tool that measures the happiness of Twitter users based on words they use in their posts, the average happiness level was 5.77 after the Vegas massacre.
Before that, the low was 5.84 after 49 people died at Pulse, and 5.87 on Nov. 9, 2016, the day after Trump won the election.
Created by mathematician Peter Dodds and computer scientist Chris Danforth at the Advanced Computing Center at the University of Vermont, the tool measures mood by assigning a value to words on a scale of one to nine based on the emotion expressed.
For instance, “I feel extremely sad,” scores a one.
“I am extremely happy,” scores a nine.
By this measure, Twitter users were sadder about Trump becoming president than they were when Michael Jackson died.
The tool measures a daily random sampling of tens of millions of tweets, revealing how people are responding to news of the day, according to Hedonometer.org.
“Some of the things we’ve found is there’s a very regular weekly cycle,” Danforth told WVNY in Burlington, Vt.
“People tend to be happier on Saturdays and sadder on Tuesdays. There are deviations to that weekly cycle (because) U.S. holidays tend to be happy days on the Hedonometer, and then natural disasters and terrorist attacks and things like that tend to be sad days.”
Two other notably sad days on Twitter followed the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, in May, and when counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
Though Twitter seems to be getting grumpier, Danforth told WVNY that there are still more positive words than negative ones on Twitter.