House approves crackdown on social media `flash mobs` - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

House approves crackdown on social media `flash mobs`

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Illinois House has approved legislation that would impose tougher punishment on anyone convicted of using social media to plan or incite a mob attack.

The bill passed the Senate last month. The 102-6 House vote now sends the measure to Gov. Pat Quinn.

Lawmakers said the legislation is in response to recent incidents in Chicago in which groups of young people descended on Michigan Avenue and other locations to rob or attack people. 

Police say the suspects used text messaging and social media such as Twitter to organize and publicize the attacks.

 "I heard that people were sending out like group invites getting people to come in, like underground and all of a sudden people are out on Michigan Avenue causing all this chaos," says college student Brittany Sepulveda.

The bill would allow a judge to impose an extended sentence if someone used electronic communication in a mob action.

Rep. Christian Mitchell is a Chicago Democrat. He says the legislation will make communities throughout Illinois safer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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