Critical Discourse Analysis and Political Facebook Posts in Bangsamoro Tapatan Lane
Keywords:Critical Discourse Analysis, Political Posts, Social Inequities, Manipulation, Persuasion, Purposeful Language
This study examined political posts in the Facebook Group, Bangsamoro Tapatan Lane. More specifically, it investigated (1) the ways political posts in the Bangsamoro Tapatan Lane constructed social inequalities; (2) the ways Facebook contributed to represent public opinion; (3) the ways the Facebook posts impacted beliefs and value systems; and (4) the possible actions to mitigate the issue. To determine these, the paper employed Norman Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis, which was a qualitative analytical approach to critically describe, interpret, and explain the ways in which discourses construct, maintain, and legitimize social inequalities. It asserted that discourses could be used to resist power, criticize and assert power, and express knowledge and identity. The findings revealed that political posts on the Facebook Group, Bangsamoro Tapatan Lane, constructed social inequities through the effective use of language. The language in the posts was purposeful, conscious, measured, manipulative, and persuasive. Important findings were: (1) derogative adjectives were used in the posts to call for reform in the government and expose erroneous actions done by the government. The choice of adjectives communicated that something was wrong with the administration, which required the public to correct or fix the government system. They were used as a political ploy to rule the public. That is, they were used to subtly influence the audience to take the side of the writer; (2) passive voice was used in the posts to hide agents or to hide lack of information; (3) intertextuality was used to strengthen the argument of the writer and/or for the writer to emphasize a point; (4) modals were used as a mode of persuasion; (5) pronouns were used to show inclusivity; (6) Facebook was used as a platform to influence the public through the effective use of language and the media. It had become a platform to let people know of one’s knowledge, thoughts, and opinions in just in a few clicks of a button; (7) Facebook became a platform where people could reach a large number of audience and freely talk about their political ideologies and convince other people to adapt their way of thinking; (8) the posts were made to try and turn the audience against their government by feeding their sense of insecurity; (9) political beliefs and ideologies could be hidden underneath the simple structure of language choices in text, thereby changing the audiences’ perspective, attitude, and even beliefs; and (10) raising awareness through webinars and seminar-workshops among the youth and all social media users about critical reading and critical discourse analysis is important as indeed, with the use of simple personal pronouns and adjectives, people could be persuaded to accept and even embrace another person’s political ideologies.
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