Pro-Syrian Regime Versus Anti Regime Outlets: A Comparative Critical Discourse Analysis
Hussam Badawi
Hussam Badawi, MA Student, MA in Applied Linguistics, Sham University, Syria.

Manuscript received on 25 May 2023 | Revised Manuscript received on 01 June 2023 | Manuscript Accepted on 15 June 2023 | Manuscript published on 30 June 2023 | PP: 8-14 | Volume-9 Issue-10, June 2023 | Retrieval Number: 100.1/ijmh.J16190691023 | DOI: 10.35940/ijmh.J1619.0691023

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Abstract: The Syrian conflict that erupted in 2011 became a global crisis and attracted the international social media attention, leading to the engagement of international superpowers. Based on the assumption that social media discourse is not neutral and impacted by social, political, and economic contexts [1], this paper employs van Dijk’s socio-cognitive approach to investigate the role of social media discourse in protracting the Syrian conflict. It analyzes two main local, anti-, and pro-regime, social media outlets’ posts, and tweets to expose their discursive strategies and embedded ideologies. This article exposes the manipulation practices on the discoursal and linguistic level. It conducts a complex analysis to uncover hidden messages and manipulation techniques that has been delivered and utilized by conflicting parties in Syria, influencing people’s minds, increasing their polarity, altering the Syrian revolution’s conception, and protracting the tragedy. The findings indicate that social media discourse vis-à-vis the Syrian context is biased. Syrian conflicting parties, especially pro-regimes outlets, manipulate discourse with the aim of influencing people’s understandings and beliefs and hence actions. Anti-government actors are always stereotyped as foreign backed, extremists, and terrorists. International outlets, impacted by the local outlets, have contributed to altering the perception of the Syrian conflict, from a popular social movement to a violent civil war. 
Keywords: Social Media, Syria, Ideology.
Scope of the Article: Cultural Studies