A Hush Falls Over the Crowd: Diminished Online Civic Expression Among Young Civic Actors
An earlier investigation of civically engaged youth’s online civic expression, conducted by the authors, revealed that most youth expressed their off-line civic views in their online lives. But do youth change their online civic expression over time? If so, how and why? A follow-up study of the original participants about two years later provides a longitudinal perspective on online civic expression. Survey responses from 41 U.S.-based civic youth reveal that over 40% changed their expression patterns over the two-year period, with most quieting or silencing expression. These changes correspond to a group-level shift: Withholding civic expression on social media is most common at the time of our follow-up study. Key rationales for individual shifts, as stated by participants, are described.