maybe one of the main reasons for the lopsided focus on positive rather than negative ties is the difficulties in acquiring negative tie data. That said, there are increasing efforts in mapping out this so far mostly "hidden", but potentially much more
important negative part of social systems.
None of them, as far as I am aware, has linked this explicitly to the topic of gossip, but that is an interesting next step. The bottleneck is always the data though. One possibility could be to look into publicly available data such as the Enron corpus
or communication on Twitter. These have been studied extensively in the context of sentiment analysis, but, as far as I know, not in both the contexts of signed networks and gossip.
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