Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mass Surveillance Silences Minority Opinions According to Study

Government surveillance clearly represents a significant attack upon our freedom of speech. Dissenting opinions are critically necessary for healthy democracy.

Source: Washington Post

The majority of participants reacted by suppressing opinions that they perceived to be in the minority. This research illustrates the silencing effect of participants’ dissenting opinions in the wake of widespread knowledge of government surveillance, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

... in the context of social media and the echo-chamber effect, in which we tailor our opinions to fit the online activity of our Facebook and Twitter friends. But this study adds a new layer by explicitly examining how government surveillance affects self-censorship.