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Senate cracks down on social media 'flash mobs'

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 5:00 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — 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.

Sen. Kwame Raoul is a Chicago Democrat. He 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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