Football fans 'swear about own team' on Twitter say Aberdeen researchers

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Image caption,
The researchers highlighted Liverpool fans swearing about their own team

Football fans swear a lot on Twitter, researchers have said - especially when their team is doing well.

The team at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen said fans were more likely to swear in a positive context than when something went wrong in a match.

And they found Liverpool fans in particular were "fantastic" for swearing about their own team.

The study analysed tweets about English Premier League matches over three consecutive weeks.

It found that more than one in 20 tweets from football fans contained swearing.

The research was carried out by Dr Emma Byrne and Dr David Corney.

Dr Byrne said: "It's no secret that football fans like to swear. But what's surprising is how and why they swear.

"For example, we found that fans are even more likely to swear when something great happens - when their team scores a goal, for example - than they are when something bad occurs."

'Serious side'

She added: "Even when they've just scored, Liverpool fans always find something to gripe about."

Dr Corney said: "There's a serious side to this research. Sentiment mining - the attempt to understand what emotions people are expressing in their online social networks - is huge business.

"Until now, many sentiment miners had taken the rather naive view that swearing is always a sign of anger or frustration.

"Our research shows that this is not the case - that swearing can also be an intensifier that is used at times of elation or excitement."

The research, which contains examples of strong language, is 'Sweet FA: sentiment, swearing and soccer'.

It is to be presented on Tuesday at the Association for Computing Machinery's International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval.

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