Cyber Identity and Cybercrime as Rhetorical Performances with Literary Significance: A Case-study of TwitterNG

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Noah Adesogo Oladele


The claim that we are a network society explains the reason why internet users easily assume rhizomic identities and fictional geographical locations that could be false – all of which are potential props for cybercrime. As Moliere’s Scapin the Schemer reveals, rhetorical performances of deceit are capable of creating multidimensional narratives. Several studies have examined the activities that constitute and define cybercrime as a criminal act as well as the dynamics around it, especially using the perpetrator/victim approach. But there is a need to study social media engagements between cybercrime schemers and their victims (a word which I do not use lightly) as literature because of the literary devices and rhetorical performances that underscore the acts. By analysing carefully selected posts from incidents of cyber­crime on TwitterNG as primary source of data, this paper argues that the deployment and use of character development, setting, impressive plot structure, performative and figurative language, conflict, climax and resolution provides enough justification for literary scholars to begin to look at, study and analyse cybercrime engagements as literary texts.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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