Love vs. Hate

6-Month Trend

love vs. hate.png

Love and hate. These two poles of emotion are prevalent topics in the blogosphere. Combined, the terms ‘love’ or ‘hate’ were included in 10% – 18% of all posts over the last six months. It appears that love has trumped hate in the blogosphere with an approximately 3-fold higher volume of posts over the entire period. While the proportion of weblog posts that include these terms has been relatively stable, there has been a decrease in the use of both terms over the past month. The use of ‘love’ has dropped by approximately 33% (13.5% to 9% of all weblog posts) and the use of ‘hate’ has declined 25% (4% to 3% of all weblog posts).

It’s an interesting phenomenon that I can’t explain. Have we become less polarized on issues over the last month? Doubtful. It would be interesting to take a look at longer term data to see how much variation there has been in these numbers so that we can determine whether it’s real or not.

A Sample of the Lovers:

BuzzMachine… by Jeff Jarvis
“I have been desperate to see a movie for weeks — I love popcorn — but I haven’t been able to find one worth the trip.”

Documentary looks at online dating – TV Squad
“I’ve never been big into the whole online dating thing, choosing instead to meet all my dates via telegraph. Still, it’s an interesting product of our age, and the subject of a new five-part documentary from ABC News called Hooking Up. The series will follow twelve women in Manhattan as they try to find love among the pop-up ads.”

Pro-American Protestors Drown Our Radical Imams – In The Bullpen
“Personally I don’t care if Kuwaitis love the United States or not, but I do not want them to hate us”

A Biker with a Bike Tattoo – Gothamist
“You might love your bicycle– but are you as hardcore as this dude?”

Why So Much Miers Chatter –
“Partly of course, it’s because of the scope of the issue – a Supreme Court Justice is always a major figure, in some ways more crucial to the direction of the nation than even a President, since the appointment is for life. But also, and especially in this case, it’s because Americans love our right to dissent.”

Why Some Of Us Once Loved Apple Computers – Dean’s World
“He’s indisputably right about one thing though: those of us who loved those old machines most loved the fact that everything about them was completely open. You could find out anything you wanted to know about their innards if you were curious and just put some time into it, and bend them to any purpose you imagined.

That’s why I love the Open Source movement today.”

Why do we give? – Signaling Success
“Successful people give with no expectation of a return. They never “give to get.” They give unselfishly. Successful folks give from the heart, don’t they?

Mother Teresa said it best, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

Enjoy this holiday season, in the most giving way…”

And a Sample of the Haters:

Perhaps You Should Look at Your Tag – Overheard in New York: The Voice of The City
“Hipster girl: Post-hipster is like post-irony, you’re being ironic about irony.
Hipster guy #1: Wait, so you can be a hipster and hate hipsters at the same time?
Hipster guy #2: I am so post-hipster!”

Today on Today: The Fat Ladies Sing – Gawker
“The segment is titled “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Fat,? and as these woman sadly present their stories, we’re left with a major question: Are we supposed to not hate them despite their being fat, or we shouldn’t hate them specificially because they’re fat?”

Another reason the UN is useless – The QandO Blog
“Maybe it’s time to seriously discuss a “League of Democracies” or some alternative world organization where being a tin-pot dictator actually disqualifies you from memebership instead of automatically providing you with a forum, paid for by others, from which to spew lies, disinformation and hate.”

This blog is not a democracy – MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
“Don’t let the agenda-driven mainstream media distort reality (again) and fuel the anti-American hate machine – spread the word!”

Top ten former Astros who I’m glad aren’t a part of this World Series team – TBIFOC
“I’m sure that George Steinbrenner is much nicer about sandbagging dorks who hate the fans, hate the team, and pitch like a Little Leaguer on crack.”

“Both our pressure and the pure evil of their tactics have put the writing on the wall. The harder they try the more people hate them including peoples all over the Middle East. The world is shrinking every day for Al-Qaeda soon they will be history.”

Ten Bloglines Hacks – Micro Persuasion
“Don’t you hate it when your favorite frequently updating sites don’t have RSS feeds?”

Tags: , ,

Figure used with permission (



  1. […] See the evidence. […]

  2. Seun said


    Do you notice that there’s a correlation between the number of occurences of love and the number of occurences of hate on each page?


  3. Note that in English negative terms are far more creative and subtle than positive terms. Thus a search for ‘love’ and ‘hate’ does not tell you how much love and hate there is out there. In developing lexicons for sentiment analysis researchers (including myself) find many times more negative items than positive.

    Nice post, BTW.

  4. […] Duel » Love vs. Hate I love non-scientific analysis of lexical choices. by Black Rim Glasses | posted in running Trackback URL | Comment RSS Feed Tag at | Incoming links […]

  5. bren said

    As there is a song which goes…

    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love…

  6. Chris said


    Great question. Unfortunately, I don’t have a solid answer for you. I haven’t noticed a correlation between the use of the terms in the hundred (give or take) messages that I read when I pulled the samples (obviously a subjective statement) but if you look at the trends, there are certainly areas where the patterns are very similar between the two terms. If this correlation exists, then the decline in both terms over the last month could be explained, but the reason for the decline remains unanswered (again, assuming that this is a real phenomenon). I’ll keep an eye on the trend over the next few months to see how it plays out.

  7. great post
    I’d love to know how the ratio of lovelorn bloggers to in love bloggers.
    take care

  8. Chris said


    Excellent point. Based upon some of the examples that I quoted, I think that it’s fair to say that this analysis is a relatively poor gauge for true love/hate sentiment among bloggers (e.g. Jeff Jarvis ‘loves’ popcorn). Seun’s point about the correlation of the use of the two words within the same posts is well taken with respect to drawing conclusions about population sentiment as well.

    If, as you say, negative terminology is more frequently used than positive terminology among individuals writing in the English language, it is interesting that this is a circumstance where that does not appear to follow the general pattern. Are these studies from weblog messages or some other online publication format?

    Thanks for your comment.

  9. Chris said


    hehehe, that’s going to be a tough one. I’ll see what I can do…

  10. vune said

    I love that love is used three times more often than hate.


  11. Howie said

    I harbor a highly unfavorable negative opinion of this sample. The machine cannot determine context as in who holds a highly unfavorable negative opinion of whom and for what reason. I also predict an upswing in the love talley.

  12. Not surprised at all, and the answer is so much simpler than we think.
    People are naturally biased towards love, and away from hate (another word for pain).

  13. Chris said


    I think that you’re correct about context. This is a purely text based search of weblog posts that make any mention of ‘love’ or ‘hate’. I included the sample of weblog posts so that readers could develop their own opinions about what these trends mean.

    In response to your post on the Jawa Report, I’d like to clear up a major misconception. You are off on your interpretation that the examples were meant to demonstrate people who were using ‘hate speech’ in their blogs. They were actually meant to provide a glimpse of how the word ‘hate’ was being used in the posts that were tallied in this trend. There is an enormous difference.

  14. […] […]

  15. aljabirie said

    سلام من ربوع ال?رات العظيم

  16. Chris said


    translation please

  17. S. Braford said

    Slightly OT – anyone see the episode of Laguna Beach where the chicks think the saying goes, “Don’t hate the game. Hate the player.”

    This just proves you shouldn’t drink the hatorade, man.

  18. Beth said

    I LOVE the line “(don’t) drink the hatorade!” HAHAHA

    BTW, Chris, did you not use the real post title because I used “bull$hit flag” in it? (“This blog is not a democracy” is a line in rotating blog title text.) Not complaining, just wondering.

    I get your point that you’re just measuring instances of the use of the word without regard to context, but referring to us as “haters,” well, that’s kinda misleading. I don’t take it personally (it IS just a blog), but I’m sure at least one of the others might find that offensive. Just sayin’.

  19. Beth said

    And Jeff Jarvis’ “I love popcorn” line cracks me up!

  20. Erika said


  21. Bridget said

    You know, they always say that people tend to focus more on the good than the bad. But really how much different is love than hate? You care about what happens to the people you love and the people you hate. The people you love are on your mind, as well as the people you hate.

    “You can divide the world into light and dark.
    Lao Tzu said that light and dark were opposites, and so they were part of each other and part of the whole, yang and yin.
    Zoroaster said light and dark were at war, and that one day there would be nothing but light.”
    – JoT

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  28. dbayer said

    that love can beat hate

  29. dbayer said

    why do people talk people talk about hate all time when everyone nows that everyone loves someone!!!!!!!

  30. Looks like you are a real expert. Did you study about the theme? haha

  31. jewels said

    i hate that website. i found something with my name on about how some girl (no names) hates my guts. its ignorent and stupid….. i dont like it… who would come up with such a stupid website for people to say how much they hate or love some one…. who knows… some one could say something so mean about some one that they go out and kill them selves… its stupid. and that website should be shut down and no longer makes me soo mad and i got offended when i saw the comment. then i thought about how everyone else must feel. i have a lot of friends and i cant imagine who would say such a thing. i cant beleive it. i wish i could do some thing to shut them down… i wish i could go up to the creator of that website and tell him or her how stupid the idea was and show them how i feel.

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