The Overton window describes the range of topics or opinions that are acceptable to talk about in public.
What we deem “controversial” or "extreme" isn't actually extreme, it's just one end of the Overton window. Truly extreme opinions aren't shared publicly, for fear of social condemnation.
If you understand the Overton window, you understand that there exist opinions and policies that aren't talked about in the mainstream. What you hear isn't all there is.
The term originally concerned public policy but it's applicable in all matters of free speech.
There are many more concepts in my "Mind Expander" tool (it's free)