Reader sittingnut writes: According to a study by Elizabeth Stoycheff from Wayne State University -- which was also referred to in the Washington Post, "knowing one is subject to surveillance and accepting such surveillance as necessary, act as moderating agents in the relationship between one's perceived climate of opinion and willingness to voice opinions online." In other words, knowledge of government surveillance causes people to self-censor their dissenting opinions online. This study adds to the well-researched phenomenon known as "spiral of silence", of people suppressing unpopular opinions to fit in by explicitly examining how government surveillance affects self-censorship. Participants who claimed they don't break any laws and don't have anything to hide and tended to support mass surveillance as necessary for national security, were the most likely to silence their minority opinions.
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