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Analysis of Social Media Misinformation Aspects

Al-Athwary, A. A. (2016). The semantics of English borrowings in Arabic media language: The case of Arab gulf states newspapers. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 5(4), 110-121.

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In the present paper, Anwar Al-Athwary analyzed the semantics of English loanwords in Arabic media. The author first determined the most and the least popular spheres in regards to adopting foreign words. As such, the spheres with the biggest number of loanwords were computer and technology (18%), politics and military (13%), transport and communication (10%), medicine (9%), food and drinks (9%), and arts and education (9%). In this regard, Al-Athwary noticed that such a distribution is mainly expected by linguistic needs. For example, as most of the innovations happen in the west and at a very fast pace, the Arab countries are not able to develop their own lexicon. Next, the author found that linguistic borrowings in media are followed by semantic change. They include restriction (using only one-two meaning(s) of the word out of many), extension (the word receives additional meaning), pejoration and amelioration (the word’s meaning receives more negative and positive meaning), and metaphorical extension. Finally, the author discovered that one-fourth of loan words have appropriate synonyms in the Arabic language and argues that such borrowing may be problematic as it does not bring any new meaning.

Eberl, J. M., Meltzer, C. E., Heidenreich, T., Herrero, B., Theorin, N., Lind, F., Berganza, R., Boomgaarden, H. G., Schemer, C. & Strömbäck, J. (2018). The European media discourse on immigration and its effects: A literature review. Annals of the International Communication Association, 42(3), 207-223.

Eberl et al. conducted an extensive literature review regarding the representation of the immigrants that come to Europe in the local media, assuming that the latter has a great impact on the people’s opinions. The scholars found that although the topics regarding this phenomenon vary from country to country, there is a certain similarity in how newcomers are described. For example, one of the prevailing discourses portrayed immigrants as mostly delinquents and criminals. Additionally, it was discovered that the latter group is often mentioned in the negative context. As a result, the authors are concerned that such skewed representation of immigrants cultivates prejudiced attitudes in citizens, which, in turn, leads to the disapproval of immigrant groups.

Vishnyakova, O., Dobroradnykh, T., Aleksandrova, V., & Klimanova, M. (2019). Knowledge and linguistic creativity interaction in the media discourse. International Journal of English Linguistics, 9(2), 65-75.

Vishnyakova and her colleagues’ paper intended to analyze the linguistic creativity that exists in the media, taking sobriquet nomination (nicknames) as an example. The researchers found that content producers often use this tool to persuade people concerning a certain issue or have a ‘stylistic impact’ which means making the message memorable. As for the former, the authors assert that only through nicknames can people construct positive or negative images about the person. For instance, consider ‘Black Flower in the White House’ (refers to Condoleezza Rice), which communicates the message that the person is romantic and elegant.

Zhou, C., Li, K., & Lu, Y. (2021). Linguistic characteristics and the dissemination of misinformation in social media: The moderating effect of information richness. Information Processing & Management, 58(6).

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In this paper, Zhou, Li and, Lu attempted to explain what made non-truthful information posted on social media disseminate among many people from the linguistic perspective. In this regard, the authors analyzed the popularity of wrongful messages on social media based on the usage of persuasive and emotional language and comparative and uncertainty (for instance, ‘maybe’, ‘seems to be’, or ‘possible’) words. Additionally, the scholars wanted to understand whether the quantity of the provided information (media richness) can moderate the relationship between the latter factors and message dissemination levels. As a result, it was found that usage of persuasive and uncertainity words was positively associated with the misinformation spread, while emotional and comparative words had an opposite effect. Moreover, media richness had a partly contradictory effect as it was found that images make people perceive the wrongful messages as more strong, whereas videos weakened the persuasive and uncertainty words influence.

Deng, Q., Hine, M. J., Ji, S., & Wang, Y. (2021). Understanding consumer engagement with brand posts on social media: The effects of post linguistic styles. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 48, 101068.

Deng and colleagues sought to investigate how the informality, emotionality, and complexity of the messages posted by the companies on social media influence the consumers’ engagement with a brand. The latter was studied as the number of likes, shares, and comments. Firstly, the authors discovered that using words that convey positive emotions is associated with a bigger number of likes, whereas those that use negative words have an opposite effect. However, in general, message emotionality did not influence the number of shares and comments. Secondly, the post complexity (post and average sentence and word length) had a negative impact on engagement. The only positive relation was found between post length and the number of comments. Finally, and surprisingly, the researchers determined that usage of informal language almost does not affect engagement with the post.

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