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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Illinois Bill Would Make it Illegal to Post Fighting Video on Social Media

We previously posted about a Kentucky bill that would, if passed, make it illegal to post about serious traffic accidents on social media for at least one hour. The sponsor of the Kentucky bill subsequently withdrew the bill after objectors raised First Amendment concerns with the proposed legislation. 

Now, an Illinois legislator has proposed similar legislation that would make it illegal to post videos of fights on social media. Representative Terri Bryant of Murphysboro sponsored the bill after being made aware of a video on Facebook that showed a 12-year-old on the ground while another boy tried to stomp him, with classmates standing by, circling the two and recording the fight on their phones. Critics of the bill raise concerns about the effect of the bill on First Amendment speech rights, similar to those raised in Kentucky. For example, a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois said "We think this proposal is overly broad and unconstitutional." 

Under the proposed legislation, a person would commit disorder conduct if he or she knowingly:
Uploads a video of a crime being committed, a gang-related fight, a battery committed with the intent to cause a person to be made unconscious, or other display of violence to a social media website or social networking website with the intent to promote or condone that activity or refuses to provide a law enforcement agency or peace officer with that uploaded video upon request of that agency or officer.  
You can read House Bill 4419 here.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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