Who Speaks and Why? An Examination of Outspokenness on Social Networking Sites and a Reflection on Assessing Public Opinion Online

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-441
Number of pages21
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Issue number3
Online published3 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Incorporating the spiral of silence theory and the model of corrective behavior, this study utilized a national survey (N = 373) to investigate the questions of who chooses to speak out on social networking sites (SNSs) and for what reasons in the context of same-sex marriage in Taiwan. Strong partisans were found the most outspoken; they spoke out to prevent media influence that might sway public opinion to the disagreeable side. Only respondents of low attitude extremity would refrain themselves from speaking out on SNSs when perceiving opinion incongruence. Nonpartisans who held a neutral stand could be motivated to speak out when perceiving majority’s support for same-sex marriage. The roles that opinion stances or attitude extremity each play in public opinion process online are discussed.