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Online Trends

Published January 22nd 2019

The Most Popular Unpopular Opinions

Everyone's got unpopular opinions. But what are the most popular unpopular opinions, and what are they about? The Brandwatch React team investigates.

Every now and again my Slack chat with Chris McCormick buzzes.

“Content idea!”

I brace myself. Chris’s ideas can range from seriously kooky through to seriously genius.

This time, his idea was seriously genius.

“What are the Internet’s most Popular “Unpopular Opinions”” he wrote.

“ooooh” I replied.

An hour later, here is a blog post containing tweeters’ most popular unpopular opinions.

Some caveats

I want you to know that I don’t hold these unpopular opinions, I’m just reporting what I found in the data. Please don’t @ me.

I searched for mentions of “unpopular opinion:” on Twitter between 1 December 2018 and 21 January 2019. I removed retweets so that a single popular tweet wouldn’t skew things, and the opinions of the masses could come through. This meant we analyzed 11,050 mentions in total, and we broke them down using Brandwatch’s topics component that identifies trending words, organizations and people in a conversation.

I looked for the general consensus within the tweets with unpopular opinions, but not all of the opinions relating to these people/things will agree with each other. You’ll see what I mean.

Who are unpopular opinions about?

I wanted to know what people were attracting the most practical opinions.

Sorry Drake, you’re number 1 and not for good reason.

Who are unpopular opinions about?

Name Volume General consensus
Drake 58 He's overrated
Ross from Friends 41 He shouldn't have ended up with Rachel
Harry Potter 39 Not everyone likes him, or the books or movies in which he stars
Billie Eilish 32 She's overrated
James Charles 32 They're super annoying
Ariana Grande 29 She's not as talented as people think

In this list I found my first set of paradoxes.

Let’s take Ross from Friends as an example – here are two “unpopular opinions” on him.

Julia doesn’t like Ross from Friends. Lucie does like Ross from friends. Both think they have an unpopular opinion, but that seems contradictory – I suppose the only way this works is if most people have a pretty average view of Ross’s likability, therefore anyone with a strong opinion on him has an unpopular opinion.

What are the unpopular opinions about?

Beyond people, there must be objects or groups that people have unpopular opinions on, I thought.

It’s true. Here are some of the top things tweeters have unpopular opinions on.

What are the unpopular opinions about?

Item/organization Volume General consensus
Netflix 134 A particular show is not good / Hulu is better than Netflix
Disney 76 Disney World isn't as magical as some people say it is
Starbucks 61 Dunkin' coffee is better than Starbucks coffee
McDonald's 42 Serious controversy over the quality of their coffee, nuggets, fries and hash browns – some like them, some hate them
Dr Pepper 25 Isn't nice
Gucci 19 Isn't always pleasing to the eye

Here’s another paradoxical set of entries, relating to Disney:

From this we can only deduce that Pocahontas is an average movie. With a 57% score on Rotten Tomatoes I guess it’s true.

So what are the most popular unpopular opinions?

We’ve seen what and who people have unpopular opinions about, but what can the data tell us about the most popular unpopular opinions?

3. Music

Music and musicians, as you’ve already seen, makes up a huge part of our list – 340 mentions of “music” appear in our mentions (3% of the total conversation we looked at). Drake, it seems, is the most controversial character.

2. Overrated food and pop culture

The word “overrated” was mentioned 354 times in our “unpopular opinion” mentions. This relates to food (french fries, sea food), TV shows (The Bachelor), tech (Airpods), and holidays (Valentines Day) to name but a few.

1. Christmas

Top of our list of things that people have unpopular opinions about is Christmas, with 400 unpopular opinions relating to presents, Christmas day, music and food.

It seems that not everyone enjoys the festive season, and 4% of the mentions we found related to it in some way. It was the largest single topic we could find in the conversation, and therefore it takes the crown.

Tying it all together, what’s the most popular unpopular opinion?

Christmas is overrated.

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