Comments of social network users: On the analysis of an aggressive text

Abstract: 

The article briefly describes the results of a linguistic forensic examination, conducted in 2018. It was a text of a possible extremist orientation. The experts were to answer the question if the comments of a member of the social network group N contained linguistic features that could justify the practice of committing violence and destructive actions aimed at the complete or partial destruction of a group, having any significant social attributes (language, nationality, religion, etc.). To solve the problem we carried out a comprehensive text analysis, a discursive analysis of the communicative situation, and an intentional analysis. As a result of the expert linguistic research, we revealed that the users’ utterances were formed as affirmative statements, value judgments, not opinions, therefore, they fall into the category of the so-called controversial texts. The commentator used the methods of emotional impact and manipulative persuasion to make the addressee believe that the suggested point of view was correct. Totally, his statements, made during the conversation in the group, formed a text with elements of indirect propaganda of a terrorist act. The context of this public mass mediated communication imposes on the author of comments a responsibility for speech actions (writing a text that falls into the category of aggressive texts) aimed to justify the actions of suicide bombers.

Key words: 

aggressive text, linguistic expertise, user comments, propaganda, emotional impact.

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