Social media in discussion of Arctic future

Lead Author Ekaterina, Vargina
Institution Contact St. Petersburg State university, Faculty of Philology, department of English philology and linguocultural studies Universitetskaya emb., 11 St. Petersburg, Russia (812)3289515
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.8 Novel approaches to communicate research facts and predictions of the future of Arctic marine biota to non-scientific stakeholders
Datetime Fri, Sep 16, 2016 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Social media are playing a special role in convincing the decision makers and forming public opinion on such topical issues as development of the Arctic region and environmental concerns. Nowadays social media not only shape our minds but also organise people for practical activities. This article concentrates on rhetoric devices and strategies used in social media (Facebook) devoted to the Arctic region. Accounts of both major companies involved in research and construction in the region and environmentalist public organisations have been studied . They demonstrante both similarities and diferences in the approach to the information and the rhetoric devices used. The study enables us to make the following conclusions:
1) Unlike in quality newspapers, within one post, information about facts is combined with opinions of the writer.
2) Commands and requests to the readers are mostly expressed by indirect speach acts. These might include forcasts of what might happen if something is not done, expressions of gratitude for the work done already, questions to the readers encouraging them to make up their minds.
3) The main arguments used are non-verbal (videos and photos) . There are several patterns of interrelations between the text and the visual content, yet , in all of them there are examples of the so called band vagon device (when the author uses the picture to prove something very defferent from what it actually shows).
4) Texts about Arctic contain a lot of scientific and technical terms. Explanation of these terms to non-specialists is an intstrument used not only to increase their awareness but also to form their opinions.
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