Spiral of Silence 2.0: Political Self-Censorship among Young Facebook Users

  title={Spiral of Silence 2.0: Political Self-Censorship among Young Facebook Users},
  author={Christian Pieter Hoffmann and Christoph Lutz},
  journal={Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Social Media \& Society},
  • C. Hoffmann, C. Lutz
  • Published 28 July 2017
  • Business
  • Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Social Media & Society
This study applies the spiral of silence theory to political discourse among digital natives on Facebook. Using structural equation modeling on a survey of 967 Facebook users in Germany under the age of 30, we find that network heterogeneity increases the perception of the opinion climate as adverse, which, in turn leads to self-censorship. Moreover, political interest and active Facebook use foster users' willingness to speak out, while fear of isolation and communication apprehension lower it… 

Figures from this paper

Analysis of Alienation in Informal Education: Media Skepticism and Spiral of Silence in the Network Society

In the study, the alienation in the network society is investigated. Facebook, which is highly effective among network community applications, has been examined as an informal learning tool. In this

Hesitation While Posting: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Sensitive Topics and Opinion Sharing on Social Media

The habits of people when posting on several topics on social media platforms are explored to provide new topic-based evidence on selective posting habits and to inform future research on the Spiral of Silence theory.

They are Watching Me: A Self-Presentational Approach to Political Expression on Facebook

ABSTRACT Following the scholarship that highlights situational influences on political expression, the present study conceptualizes political expression on social network sites (SNSs) as a form of

Democratic Participation through Crocheted Memes

Diverse definitions of memes are used to draw out insights from the interview data, about participants' engagement with the banners and with the corresponding local issues, campaigns, and ultimately democracy.

Socially Engineering a Polarizing Discourse on Facebook through Malware-Induced Misperception

The results suggest that the MIM attack can socially engineer the spiral-of-silence effect by manipulating the comments in a Facebook discourse to appeal to the individual’s political ideology and gender identity.

Speaking Up or Staying Silent? Citizens’ Engagement of Pro-Biafra Protests and Farmers-Herders Crises in the User-generated Content of Selected Nigerian Online Newspapers

The public space provided by the Web 2.0 technologies where citizens freely interact and discuss public issues such as politics, security and national unity is one of the beauties of modern

Decentralizing electoral campaigns? New-old parties, grassroots and digital activism

ABSTRACT Recent studies suggest that new parties display new patterns of digital mobilization. We shed light on this debate: do new party supporters engage in online political activities to a greater

Information seeking behavior on Facebook: The role of censorship endorsement and personality

Facebook started as a platform intended for connecting people but it has developed into a rich information source. Based on the uses-and-gratification approach, we examined to what extent censorship

“My People Already Know That”: The Imagined Audience and COVID-19 Health Information Sharing Practices on Social Media

This article examines how imagined audiences and impression management strategies shape COVID-19 health information sharing practices on social media and considers the implications of this for

To tweet or not to tweet: covertly manipulating a Twitter debate on vaccines using malware-induced misperceptions

An alternative tactic for covert social media interference by inducing misperceptions about genuine, non-trolling content from verified users is explored, which proposes a solution for countering the effect of the malware-induced misperception that could also be used against trolls and social bots on Twitter.



Queer Identity Management and Political Self‐Expression on Social Networking Sites: A Co‐Cultural Approach to the Spiral of Silence

Social networking sites can facilitate self-expression, but for some, that freedom is constrained. This study investigated factors that influence LGBT+ individuals' identity management and political

A change in the climate: Online social capital and the spiral of silence

Regression analyses shows that bridging social capital is a key influencer in people’s willingness to speak up in social media and other online venues.

Silence in the crowd: The spiral of silence contributing to the positive bias of opinions in an online review system

A qualitative analysis of discussion forums reveals that fear of isolation reduces the willingness of members to voice neutral and negative reviews, and communicative affordances of the interface were found to further suppressneutral and negative opinions.

The Spiral of Silence and Public Opinion on Affirmative Action

This study sought to more fully explicate the key variables involved in Noelle-Neumann's spiral of silence theory, which states that fear of isolation keeps individuals from expressing opinions

Political Outspokenness: Factors Working against the Spiral of Silence

Tested here is the argument that political outspokenness is affected not only by one's perception of the climate of opinion and one's gender, age, education and income, as Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann

Can online exemplars trigger a spiral of silence? Examining the effects of exemplar opinions on perceptions of public opinion and speaking out

It is shown that a relatively low number of online exemplars considerably influence perceived public support for the eviction of violent immigrants and supporters of eviction were less willing to speak out on the issue online and offline when confronted with exemplars contradicting their opinion.

What Affects the Spiral of Silence and the Hard Core on Twitter? An Analysis of the Nuclear Power Issue in Japan

The results from the analysis show a positive correlation between individuals’ perception that their opinion represents the majority view and the number of times they have spoken out and homogeneity of opinions does not influence speaking out by a minority group.

The Spiral of Silence and the Internet: Selection of Online Content and the Perception of the Public Opinion Climate in Computer-Mediated Communication Environments

The question of whether the conventional approaches of media effects research still prove valid in online environments has increasingly stimulated the interest of scholars. This article adds to this

Selective Posting: Willingness to post a message online

An experimental research method to test willingness to speak out in the spiral of silence theory on an online forum and to test subsequent attitudinal and behavioral changes as measured in issue position, climate of opinion perception, and message posting is developed.

Social media and mobilization to offline demonstrations: Transcending participatory divides?

The results show that the type of participant mobilized via the social media is characterized by lower socioeconomic status and younger age than those mobilized via other channels, and connections to information structures through social media exert a strong and independent effect on mobilization.