The paper focuses on the issues of public opinion manipulation and emotionalization of the Internet news discourse. The purpose of this study is to identify the specifics of political emotions and their rhetorical potential in the Internet news discourse. Through the discourse analysis of the statements uttered by politicians and taken from the news stories of the highly circulated British and American online media, political emotions are defined as a particular type of emotions intended to manipulate public opinion both emotionally and politically. The analysis of the rhetorical potential of political emotions reveals that political emotions can be used with the aim of social solidarity, group identification, decision-making, shaping public opinion, discrediting the opponent, polarizing social groups as well as enhancing the public image of a politician in the Internet news discourse. The findings provide the support for the hypothesis that political emotions play an important role in modern argumentation, leaving the facts behind and becoming a key factor that determines the credibility of information in the modern online media. The results of this study can be applied in the field of linguistics, journalism, psychology and political science. A range of implications for understanding the complex nature of emotions and their key role in the Internet news discourse is explored.
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