The appearance of the spiral of silence theory in the field of public opinion research initiated a vast amount of problematizations, reconceptualizations, extensions, empirical replications and verifications of the theory's assumptions on the processes of opinion expression in public. The theory stimulated only in a very limited account the research of public opinion processes as complex phenomena encompassing variety of social actors, althoughone of its greatest virtues is the interpretation of transformation of individual actions into collective force. In the article an analysis of reconceptualizations and operationalisations of the key components of the spiral of silence theory is offered, with an emphasis on operationalisations of the public opinion expressing, role of the social environment in this process, conceptualization of the fear of isolation and on the nature of the issue of public discussion. We also consider some continuously present conceptual and empirical problems, which the tradition of the spiral of silence research does not take into account or does not succeed in their solution. Further we offer insight into extensions of the spiral of silence theory, which on one hand increase the explanatory power of the expressing process, but on the other hand pose some dangerous implications for the original spiral of silence idea.