So what is the Spiral of Silence all about? "Originally proposed by German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann in 1974, Spiral of Silence is the term meant to refer to the tendency of people to remain silent when they feel that their views are in opposition to the majority view on a subject" (Davie, 2012). People tend to enter the Spiral of Silence when they fear isolation from society, however, there are many factors that can contribute to someone staying silent.
I think that it's not only important, but interesting, to note that Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, creator of the Spiral of Silence Theory, actually worked for Nazi newspapers during WWII. In 1940 she worked for Nazi newspaper "Das Reich," under Joseph Goebbels, later working for "Frankfurter Zeitung." Noelle-Neumann claims she worked from the inside, but her direct association with Spiral of Silence is intriguing.
Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence’ - In the Snowden case, social media did not provide new forums for those who might otherwise remain silent to express their opinions & debate issues. Further, if people thought their friends & followers in social media disagreed with them, they were less likely to say they would state their views on the Snowden-NSA story online & in other contexts, such as gatherings of friends, neighbors, or co-workers.