By Steven Allen Adams, The Weirton Daily Times
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An expert believes that government and big tech need to come together to look at the role social media played in creating the atmosphere that led to Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol Building by extremist supporters of President Donald Trump.
Elizabeth Cohen, an associate professor in communications studies at West Virginia University, studies the psychology of social media in pop culture, as well as emotional responses to media.
Cohen believes in the positive aspects of social media, such as connecting family and friends, the sharing of memories, or providing communication during a disaster. But social media can also provide an avenue for misinformation, an echo chamber where users only receive news they’re likely to like and share, and a way for fringe groups to organize.
For Cohen, social media is like any other tool. It’s the user that can either use the tool for good or for harm…