Advertisement

GeoJournal

pp 1–13 | Cite as

When folkloric geopolitical concerns prompt a conspiratorial ideation: the case of Egyptian tweeters

  • Bacem A. Essam
  • Mostafa M. Aref
  • Fayrouz Fouad
Article

Abstract

The cartography of danger has recently expanded to turn several hotspots worldwide. This proves true when it comes to the Middle East where military interventions escalate and internal conflicts leverage. Implicating on the folkloric perception of the real geostrategic threats, this paper uses linguistic cues to explore the conceptualization of geopolitical concerns in a large-scale corpus of Egyptian tweets (2012–2017). Results reveal that the Conspiratorial Ideation is widely enabled and ushered to relieve the increasing anxiety ad hoc the rapidly changing political scene in Egypt and the pan-region. There, America, Israel, Iran and Cyprus are defined as the outsider plotters where the reigning regimes are accused of conspiring against the Egyptians. The threatened Egyptian geostrategic territories are claimed to be Sinai, Tiran strait, Halayeb triangle and Mediterranean gas fields. The suggested plotting scenarios are bootstrapped and discussed.

Keywords

FrameNet Linguistic cues Conspiratorial ideation Twitter Geopolitics Corpus-based studies Slap of the century 

Notes

Funding

This research did not receive any grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author of this paper certifies that he has no potential conflicts of interest to be declared.

Supplementary material

10708_2018_9854_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (812 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 811 kb)

References

  1. Abdelzaher, E. M. (2017). Compiling a cognition-based thematic monolingual lexicon. Cognitive Linguistic Studies, 4(2), 361–377.  https://doi.org/10.1075/cogls.00007.abd.Google Scholar
  2. Arafat, A. A., Salama, M. H. M., El-Sayed, S. A., & Elfeel, A. A. (2016). Distribution of natural radionuclides and assessment of the associated hazards in the environment of Marsa Alam-Shalateen area, Red Sea coast, Egypt. Journal of Radiation Research and Applied Sciences, 10(3), 219–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bittner, C. (2017). OpenStreetMap in Israel and Palestine—‘Game changer’ or reproducer of contested cartographies? Political Geography, 57, 34–48.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2016.11.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boschee, P. (2016). Egypt strives to bolster economy with foreign investment, imports. Journal of Petroleum Technology, 68(09), 42–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chung, C. K., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2011). Using computerized text analysis to assess threatening communications and behavior. In Threatening communications and behavior: Perspectives on the pursuit of public figures (pp. 3–32). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.  https://doi.org/10.17226/13091.
  6. Crawford, K., & Finn, M. (2015). The limits of crisis data: Analytical and ethical challenges of using social and mobile data to understand disasters. GeoJournal, 80(4), 491–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Essam, B. A. (2014). Translation and analysis of diasporic colloquial egyptian poems of patriotism: A hermeneutic study. Higher Education of Social Science, 7(2), 139–148.Google Scholar
  8. Essam, B. A. (2015). Melopoetics of the contemporary “National Anthem” of Egypt and its translations: A case study. Higher Education of Social Science, 8(1), 1–11.Google Scholar
  9. Essam, B. A. (2017). Compiling a lexicon of pornography using web, WordNet and FrameNet to develop an individual pornographic index. Sexuality and Culture, 21(2), 534–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fillmore, C. J., Johnson, C. R., & Petruck, M. R. (2003). Background to framenet. International Journal of Lexicography, 16(3), 235–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goldberg, M., & Beyth, M. (1991). Tiran Island: An internal block at the junction of the Red Sea rift and Dead Sea transform. Tectonophysics, 198(2–4), 261–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gray, M. (2008). Explaining conspiracy theories in modern Arab Middle Eastern political discourse: Some problems and limitations of the literature. Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies, 17(2), 155–174.Google Scholar
  13. Gray, M. (2010). Conspiracy theories in the Arab world: Sources and politics. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Haklay, M., & Weber, P. (2008). Openstreetmap: User-generated street maps. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 7(4), 12–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jensen, M. L., Bessarabova, E., Adame, B., Burgoon, J. K., & Slowik, S. M. (2011). Deceptive language by innocent and guilty criminal suspects: The influence of dominance, question, and guilt on interview responses. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 30(4), 357–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jones, L. (2010). ‘How do the American people know…?’: Embodying post-9/11 conspiracy discourse. GeoJournal, 75(4), 359–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kemp, A., & Ben-Eliezer, U. (2000). Dramatizing sovereignty: The construction of territorial dispute in the Israeli–Egyptian border at Taba. Political Geography, 19(3), 315–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kilgarriff, A., Baisa, V., Bušta, J., Jakubíček, M., Kovář, V., Michelfeit, J., et al. (2014). The Sketch Engine: Ten years on. Lexicography, 1(1), 7–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Magen, C., & Lapid, E. (2017). Israel’s military public diplomacy evolution: Historical and conceptual dimensions. Public Relations Review.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.11.003
  20. Mustafa, E. (2015). Semantic framing of nationalism in the national anthems of Egypt and England: A cognitive study. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 4(4), 62–76.  https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.4p.62.Google Scholar
  21. Paszto, V., Darena, F., Marek, L., & Fuskova, D. (2014). Spatial analyses of Twitter data–Case studies. In 14th SGEM geoconference on informatics, geoinformatics and remote sensing, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, Vol. 1. June 19–25, 2014, pp. 785–792. ISBN 978-619-7105-10-0/ISSN 1314-2704.Google Scholar
  22. Pennebaker, J. W., & King, L. A. (1999). Linguistic styles: Language use as an individual difference. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ruble, I. (2017). European Union energy supply security: The benefits of natural gas imports from the Eastern Mediterranean. Energy Policy, 105, 341–353.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2017.03.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ruppenhofer, J., Ellsworth, M., Petruck, M. R., Johnson, C. R., & Scheffczyk, J. (2016). FrameNet II: Extended theory and practice. Retrieved from: https://framenet.icsi.berkeley.edu/fndrupal/the_book.
  25. Shibasaki, R., Azuma, T., Yoshida, T., Teranishi, H., & Abe, M. (2017). Global route choice and its modelling of dry bulk carriers based on vessel movement database: Focusing on the Suez Canal. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 25, 51–65.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rtbm.2017.08.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Siapera, E., Hunt, G., & Lynn, T. (2015). # GazaUnderAttack: Twitter, Palestine and diffused war. Information, Communication & Society, 18(11), 1297–1319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Siddig, K., Grethe, H., & Abdelwahab, N. (2016). The natural gas sector in post-revolution Egypt. Journal of Policy Modeling, 38(5), 941–953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sims, D. (2010). Understanding Cairo: The logic of a city out of control. Cairo, New York: The American University in Cairo Press.Google Scholar
  29. Swami, V., Voracek, M., Stieger, S., Tran, U. S., & Furnham, A. (2014). Analytic thinking reduces belief in conspiracy theories. Cognition, 133(3), 572–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tausczik, Y. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2010). The psychological meaning of words: LIWC and computerized text analysis methods. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29(1), 24–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tumasjan, A., Sprenger, T. O., Sandner, P. G., & Welpe, I. M. (2010). Predicting elections with twitter: What 140 characters reveal about political sentiment. Icwsm, 10(1), 178–185.Google Scholar
  32. Wood, M. J., Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2012). Dead and alive: Beliefs in contradictory conspiracy theories. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(6), 767–773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ain Shams UniversityCairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations