The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday that could increase penalties for using social media and text messaging to organize large groups for violent flash mobs.
Senate Bill 1005 allows for increased penalties against people who use electronic communication — including social media like Facebook or Twitter, or text messaging — to coordinate “flash mobs,” according to a statement from bill co-sponsor Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale).
The bill would allow judges to impose extended sentences for those who use electronic communication to commit mob action.
“This is a serious problem,” Dillard said in the statement. “From the standpoint of Illinois’ reputation as a tourist destination, a place to do business and a quality place to live, we have to send a message to people, especially young people, that you cannot use your knowledge of social media to terrorize...”
On March 30, police arrested 17 people who were “fighting amongst themselves” along the Magnificent Mile near the 800 block of North Michigan Avenue.
That same night, a woman and 10 juveniles attacked a group of women on a CTA Red Line train in the Loop, police said.
In total, three adults and 25 juveniles were arrested and charged during the two downtown attacks.
The bill now moves to House for consideration.
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