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Senate Targets Social Media-Fueled Mob Attacks

Bill approved 52-0 by legislators

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Senate Targets Social Media-Fueled Mob Attacks

Several teens were arrested last month after dozens of mob groups began fighting on Michigan Avenue. Lawmakers are attempting to increase the penalties for such behavior.

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Anyone convicted of using social media to plan or incite a mob attack could face tougher punishment under legislation approved by the Illinois Senate.

Lawmakers said the bill approved 52-0 on Wednesday was in response to recent incidents in Chicago. Groups of young people have descended on Michigan Avenue and other locations to attack or rob victims.

Chicago Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul says street gangs also have used social media such as Twitter to organize and publicize attacks in other areas.

Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican, says the incidents could hurt business and that the legislation "sends a message."

The bill would allow a judge to impose an extended sentence if someone used electronic communication in a mob action. It now moves to the Illinois House.

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