Why Does Bad News Travel Faster Than Good News?

Bad news tends to travel faster than good news because many members of society are intrigued by negative news, and many are interested in hearing about the tragedies, hardships and failures of others. Bad news can be captivating in a culture that views drama, danger and misfortune as great forms of entertainment onscreen.

According to the College of Marin, bad news may be shared with nearly twice as many people as good news. Whether the bad news is concerning a person, group or an entity, it will rouse the curiosity of others. When people hear about the misfortune that celebrities or other famous people face, it makes them seem more human, down to earth and relatable. When news breaks of a major business in the midst of a scandal, customers and news outlets are quick to share the message. Some people even derive joy from hearing bad news or gossip about the people they know or may interact with on a regular basis.

Citizens may be more likely to share good news with select friends and family members, but they may share bad, exiting news with anyone. The modern fascination with social media allows people to share negative information and swap disaster stories, and social media platforms permit all kinds of bad news to grow to viral proportions rather quickly, according to Zendesk. Although there is no guarantee that bad news will always get around faster than good news, it is more likely to occur when people are bored and seeking some excitement.