Posting Videos of Fights Online Could Become a Criminal Act in Illinois

The prosecution of cyberbullying has been a challenge for states looking to protect minors from harassment. A new Illinois bill, introduced by Republican Representative Terry Bryant, provides that those who post videos of fights online with the intent to condone or promote violence could be charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. One obstacle of the proposal is proving intent of those who post the videos. Another concern is the unconstitutionality of such a law; mainly, infringement on the right to free speech.

The proposal stems from a video that Representative Bryant saw on Facebook, showing two young boys fighting, with their classmates watching and recording without anyone calling for help.

Social media and the advancement of technology have posed major issues for lawmakers trying to keep up. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, only half of the anti-bullying laws across the country address cyberbullying. Other than infringement of free speech, there are additional concerns of over-criminalizing teenage behavior.

Illinois bill would criminalize filming fights to put online, February 9, 2016, Chicago Tribune

Illinois Bill Would Criminalize Filming Fights to Put Online, February, 9, 2016, Northern Public Radio

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