A study into the fallout from the Edward Snowden leaks has identified a tendency amongst the American public to discuss the affair offline rather than through social media.
Conducted by PewResearch the investigation showed that 86 per cent of Americans were open to talking about the implications of government intrusion on personal privacy but only 42 per cent were comfortable doing so on forums such as Facebook and Twitter.
A total of 1,801 adults were quizzed in arriving at these conclusions, which also highlighted divisions within society as to whether the monitoring of phone and email records can ever be justified.
Tellingly individuals were far more likely to give an opinion face to face and if secure in the knowledge that their audience shared their opinion, rather than venture online with their thoughts.
Asked what the source for the bulk of their information on the Snowden case was 58 per cent cited TV and radio, 34 per cent named online sources other than social media, 31 per cent said friends and family, 19 per cent newspapers, 15 per cent Facebook and 3 per cent attributed Twitter.