Belfast Telegraph

Sherlock returns among most tweeted

The return of Sherlock and X Factor comeback of Cheryl Fernandez Versini were two of 2014's most talked about TV moments, according to social media analysis.

A death in Game of Thrones and Towie star Gemma Collins's anxiety also made the top five, in the study which involved close monitoring of over a billion Twitter conversations, and was c arried out by content strategy agency Telegraph Hill.

Analysts identified the most emotionally resonant TV moments, according to people reacting to shows online.

Positive feelings were the most likely to be shared with "love" - the most tweeted emotional word in the study, followed by "good" and "happy". The next most popular tag was "hate".

But the word "love" was tweeted six times for every "hate".

The study found that good news is more amenable to sharing and retweeting than negativity.

The exceptions to this are around "hot" emotions such as anger. There were a very high number of angry tags found around The Great British Bake Off, following "Bin-gate" when a contestant binned his baked alaska.

The study was able to identify how Twitter can enable an online form of "emotional contagion", similar to that seen in crowds at sporting events, and some tweets were retweeted hundreds of times.

Benedict Cumberbatch's return in Sherlock, after his character's apparent suicide, was the most discussed TV moment of the year with over 639,000 tweets about it.

After Oberyn's death in Game of Thrones, used Twitter to express their horror and sadness, posting over 404,000 tweets, making it come in at number two on the list.

Cheryl's return to the X Factor judging panel takes third place, with 372,000 tweets expressing happiness that she was back on screen.

In fourth place and sparking 336,000 tweets is Towie star Collins who broke down in tears before going into the jungle on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Completing the top five is the opening episode of Celebrity Big Brother, which featured people including Jim Davidson, Dappy and Liz Jones.

Analysis found 326,000 tweets occurred reporting amusement and entertainment value about the chaining together of the unlikely couples.

At six is Collabro's first audition on Britain's Got Talent which led to 215,000 tweets.

The moment dubbed "Bin-gate" on The Great British Bake Off is at seven, sparking over 180,000 tweets, while Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor Who is at eight after his appearance provoked over 178,000 tweets.

Made in Chelsea sparked 168,000 tweets during the Alex cheating on Binky scenario, and is in ninth place, while completing the top ten is a triple firing on The Apprentice that prompted 114,000 tweets.

Chris Moon, head of insights and analytics at Telegraph Hill, said: "The British stiff upper lip has long gone; we now love sharing our emotions on social media.

"Viewers don't want to feel isolated when their hearts beat while watching great TV, they want to feel part of the drama and connected to others who feel the same.

"These big moments connect us as a nation and have become major events on sofas across the country."

Psychotherapist Dr Aaron Balick, an expert in the psychodynamics of social networking, said: "While Twitter has the reputation for being a nasty place, the word 'love' was tweeted six times for every 'hate' and 'good' five times for every 'bad'.

"Though haters may get most of the attention, most of what was communicated (in this study) was positive."

He added: "Like being at a large sporting event, Twitter can encourage crowd behaviour and emotional contagion. This is exemplified in the Bin-gate affair on The Great British Bake off."

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