This study explores the relationship between social media sentiments and mimetic behavior using visualization techniques. Specifically, this study examines the characteristics of Twitter information diffusion surrounding two recent events of worldwide attention in order to understand whether the emotional aspects of mimetic behavior are similar. The Mimetic Theory of desire contends that a subject (S), imitate the behavior of a Model (M), in relation to an object of desire (O). With all desires being the desire of others; this study premise that the emotional arousal that O causes similar reaction in S in relation to M. In the presence of an external mediator, the reaction is also exclusively mimetic. This study collected a number of tweets bearing the hashtag of a recent event that received worldwide attention and classified the tone of the tweets using sentiment analysis as positive, neutral or negative. The same analysis is replicated on a corpus collected on tweets bearing the fake news tag. The sentiments are first visualized before applying the post-truth diffusion proposition to show the presence of mimesis and its relation to sentiment are similar in both cases. This study concludes by discussing the applicability of Mimetic Theory on both real and fake news diffusion and the implications on marketing efforts.
Keywords : Social Media, Diffusion, Influencer, Mimetic, Sentiment, Post-Truth, Branding