ONLINE COMMENTS AS MEANS OF COMMUNICATION (BASED ON THE MATERIAL OF POLITICAL DISCOURSE)

Research article
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.18454/RULB.2022.30.20
Issue: № 2 (30), 2022
Suggested:
26.04.2022
Accepted:
23.05.2022
Published:
15.06.2022
392
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Abstract

Globalization and universal informatization have gradually made the World Wide Web the leading source of information. Every year the online media are becoming more and more popular, expanding the target audience, increasing information coverage and today the Internet is a separate type of communicative space into which the usual forms of human communication are gradually penetrating, forming new images, concepts, meanings that are different from the traditional off-line sphere. The purpose of the study is to show some special aspects of modern Internet communication based on the material of online comments to a political article. The article deals with the online comments, their genre characteristics and main types based on the pragmatic functions, some lexical features of online comments in web-based mass media political discourse are analysed as well.

1. Introduction

The Internet, as a global network that unites users around the world, provides quick access to any web page with information that is of interest to them. It allows users to communicate with each other and exchange ideas and thoughts, thus influencing and contributing to the formation of images of a particular concept [1], [2]. At the present time the main source of information is the global Internet, which has become a means and place for people to communicate, gradually replacing real communication.

The text on the Internet has a number of features: it becomes a hypertext characterized by non-linearity, multimediality, interactivity, incompleteness [3] and refers to media texts. The online comment on the text in the World Wide Web is considered as one of the types of media text. It is treated as one of the leading genres of modern journalism [4], [5]. Largely, such a comment is considered either as a separate genre or as a subgenre within the news genre [6] characterized by the following properties:

1) secondariness (comments are secondary to the main stimulus (text, audio, video, etc.) and cannot exist in isolation);

2) subjectivity (the authors are ordinary users who do not always have education and a high level of knowledge on the commented issue);

3) evaluativity (among other things, a high degree of subjectivity is expressed in the presence of a significant evaluative component);

4) the main content of comments is verbal, but is often supplemented by non-verbal components (emoticons, images, etc.) [7], [8].

Network comments as an example of a media text can express the reader’s take on the text. Readers can ask the author questions, including rhetorical ones, express their emotions towards the author and the work; contain a groundless assessment, give reactions to the author’s text, in addition these can be “trolling comments” and “elfing comments” expressed in insults, ridicule, verbal rudeness, humiliation of other participants in network communication in terms of discussing a particular news [3].

2. Main results

The material for the study was the Russian-language political discourse, namely the texts from the section “Politics” posted on the pages of the news aggregator “RIA Novosti” (http://www.ria.ru). The choice of material for the study is due to the fact that at the moment this particular news agency is the most popular in the category “News and Mass Media” [9]. The article called “Putin commented on the Navalny case” [10] was selected for further consideration, since this publication received the largest number of comments and reactions. During the day the article was viewed, 83437 times, 640 comments were published in connection with it. Moreover, the mention of both the President of the Russian Federation and the main representative of the opposition made it possible to receive the most diverse comments.

Let’s further consider with the system of intra-chat interactions (Author’s note: the spelling and punctuation of readers are preserved in all the comments given by them). Those interactions concerning political issues in news feeds often bear a negative character, mutual insults, personal attacks, the use of obscene language, for example, 15 гривен переведены вам на карту.молодец.служите дальше; Ха-ха-ха. какой смешной навальнинец; смешная путирастка!; Если забыл то погугли в гугле))); Ну здравствуй поклонник гулюфик-фюрера; Вы глуп и туп,как сто.з......; По вашему нарочито "русскому" нику видно, что вы вещаете из Прибалтики ) (Engl.: 15 hryvnias have been transferred to your card. well done. serve on; Ha-ha-ha. what a funny navalninets; funny putirastka!; If you forgot, Google it in Google))); Well, hello, fan of the gulyufik-fuhrer; You are stupid and dumb, like a hundred.z......; According to your deliberately “Russian” nickname, it is clear that you are broadcasting from the Baltic countries). In this case, we deal with such types of speech aggression as trolling and flaming [11] that are widespread in modern Internet communication. The use of vulgar language in comments, when the interlocutors do not see each other but communicate in short phrases, is a means of displaying verbal aggression, a verbal desire to offend and humiliate (belittle) the interlocutor proving their “only true” point of view. The participants do not know how to conduct a constructive dialogue, they talk from a position of their own superiority, “crushing and destroying” the interlocutors with their statements. An interesting fact is that this position is taken, for the most part, by the opposition supporters, for example, За Навального вся молодёжь. За путина только старые пер дуны и увядшие дамочки; А как гендерно-корректно звучит «хабалка» для самцов?; Кто отзывается, тот(та) …; Легко дураком живётся похоже. За вас даже думают уже, вам и это не надо делать...; А недавно советник губера вас, "партнёров" куском де..ма назвал..., (Engl.: All the young people are for Navalny. For Putin, only old farts and faded ladies; And how gender-correctly does “foul-mouthed woman” sound for males?; Who responds, he (she) ...; It's easy for fools to live like that. They even think for you already, you don’t need to do that either...; And recently the adviser of the governer called you, “partners”, a piece of shit...), therefore, one can say that in the absence of arguments, facts and evidential base low vocabulary is used which causes conflict and participation in baseless verbal fight.

In the group of comments the following pragmatic functions were implemented: approval, criticism and irony of the event and the participants in question. However, in many cases it is difficult to provide a clear demarcation among these functions, but one should note the complete absence of indifferent comments. This is due to the fact that comments are usually left by those users who are not indifferent to the topic concerned.

The comments expressing approval include such examples as Президент прав, в первую очередь нужно быть честным человеком и исходя из этого вести свою политическую деятельность, особенно такую как борьба с коррупцией; Но ведь по закону!; Навальный сидит по уголовному делу. Этот человек с пониженной социальной ответственностью. Поддерживаю президента в данном вопросе -преступник должен сидеть в тюрьме; Навальный вор, а вор должен сидеть в тюрьме ))); У Навального все меньше шансов выйти досрочно, а вот приличную добавку получить, очень даже реально. И это радует (Engl.: The president is right, first of all you need to be an honest person and conduct your political activities based on this, especially such as the fight against corruption; But according to the law!; Navalny is in prison having been accused of a criminal case. This person has a reduced social responsibility. I support the president in this matter - the criminal should be in prison; Navalny is a thief, and a thief should be in prison))); Navalny is less likely to get released ahead of jail term, but it’s very realistic to get a decent supplement. And this pleases).

Critical comments concern both the negative attitude towards the arrest of Alexei Navalny and describe the negative attitude of interaction participants to corruption in the country such as Вот и весь --утинский режим и правосудие!; продажный провальный вообще никому не клялся, просто отрабатываетт легкую жизнь в Нью Йорке; В Индексе восприятия коррупции, ежегодно публикуемом Transparency International, Россия находится в числе наиболее коррумпированных стран мира; Для того, чтобы говорить о правонарушении, нужно иметь суд, который подчиняется закону, а не лично диктатору (Engl.: And that’s that --utin’s regime and justice!; the corrupt failure didn’t swear to anyone at all, just returns favors for an easy life in New York; In the Corruption Perception Index published annually by Transparency International, Russia is among the most corrupt countries in the world; In order to talk about an offense, you need to have a court that obeys the law, and not personally to the dictator).

Concerning irony, in online comments it is often used together with approval or criticism to create vivid satirical characters, for example as follows Спасибо фрау Меркель за ее позицию. за правду, за всю ее 16- летнюю работу на благо немецкого народа. Спасибо за попытку освободить борца с коррупцией; Пусть Леха сидит - здоровее будет. А то "хайли-лайкли" и нет Лехи. Он Западу живой уже не интересен. Поэтому и хотят его оттуда вытащить... (Engl.: Thanks to Frau Merkel for her position. for the truth, for all her 16-year work for the benefit of the German people. Thank you for trying to free the anti-corruption fighter; Or Let Alexei be in jail - will be healthier. And then “highly-likely” and there is no Alexei. The West is no longer interested in him alive. That’s why they want to get him out of there...).

3. Conclusion

It can be seen that in terms of lexical content online comments are closer to oral speech.

The predominance of negative evaluation in the comments may be a consequence of the peculiarities of the Internet communication. Depersonalization and lack of direct contact with the interlocutor leads to the use of low vocabulary. This is manifested in the widespread use of comments with verbal aggression, in particular trolling.

Also, in online comments you can trace the dynamics of the emotional intensity of their participants, when the initially neutral statements are transformed into negatively colored threats, insults and trolling. Such changes in the vector of interpersonal communication indicate a virtual confrontation of users, the desire to prove “their only true” point of view without participating in a constructive dialogue. Such a fact once again confirms the fairness of the versatile image of power that has been defined in the paper.

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