Whether spending time with their families or at work, Americans generally have no problem discussing the topic of government surveillance, at least in the real world. According to a Pew Research Center survey, however, people are far less likely to discuss the Snowden revelations through social media. While 86 percent would have an in-person conversation about this topic, just 42 percent would post about it on Facebook and Twitter. One of the major findings of the survey is that regarding the Snowden case, social media did not provide new forum for people who might have otherwise remained silent with their opinions. One reason for this behaviour is the so called "spiral of silence", which means the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared.
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