New Study: Facebook “Rants” Incite Social Change

Photo Courtesy Of | A recent study has found that Facebook rants actually incite social change and increase your amount of friends.

Katherine Hazen ’18

In a new study from the University of Southern California last week, researchers found that Facebook rants — posts of political views exceeding four lines of text with at least three exclamation points — incite social change. Researchers measured this by asking Smith students how they felt about a certain “hot button” issue before and after a Facebook friend posted a rant, relative to the number of laws proposed and number of Google searches.

Researchers also found that, contrary to popular belief, Facebook rants increase your number of Facebook friends. Research also indicated that the more rants a Facebook user provides per day, the more they are trusted as a “valid news source.”

After reading this study, I thought that Smith students must be on the right track to changing the world, given that the study found that Smith students post Facebook rants at least three times a week on average.   

Some Smith students find Facebook rants more educational than class discussion. “In class we have to back up our claims with facts, and that’s just not true learning to me,” said Sophie Smith ’18. “Emotion is far more persuasive.”

Rather than organizing and taking to the streets, Smith students can continue to help change the world from the comfort of their room.

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