Interview: Harish Natarajan on Beating IBM Project Debater and Restoring Everyone’s Faith in Humanity…For Now
By Gemma JoyceFeb 15
Published January 22nd 2019
Every now and again my Slack chat with Chris McCormick buzzes.
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.
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.
I wanted to know what people were attracting the most practical opinions.
Sorry Drake, you’re number 1 and not for good reason.
|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.
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.
|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:
We’ve seen what and who people have unpopular opinions about, but what can the data tell us about the most popular unpopular opinions?
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.
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.
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.