It has been established that, ratings are missing not at random in recommender systems. However, little research has been done to reveal how the ratings are missing. In this paper we present one possible explanation of the missing not at random phenomenon. We verify that, using a variety of different real-life datasets, there is a spiral process for a silent minority in recommender systems where (1) people whose opinions fall into the minority are less likely to give ratings than majority opinion holders; (2) as the majority opinion becomes more dominant, the rating possibility of a majority opinion holder is intensifying but the rating possibility of a minority opinion holder is shrinking; (3) only hardcore users remain to rate for minority opinions when the spiral achieves its steady state. Our empirical findings are beneficial for future recommendation models. To demonstrate the impact of our empirical findings, we present a probabilistic model that mimics the generation process of spiral of silence. We experimentally show that, the presented model offers more accurate recommendations, compared with state-of-the-art recommendation models.