Illinois bill would criminalize filming fights to put online

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois lawmaker wants to criminalize recording fights in order to post them online.

Rep. Terri Bryant says she was disturbed by a video of an altercation between two boys from her hometown of Murphysboro that was posted to Facebook. The Republican lawmaker says she wants to show that staging fights or being a willing bystander is unacceptable.

But a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union says Bryant’s bill may infringe on people’s freedom of speech. An executive at the state’s prosecutors’ office says it would be hard to prove the intent of the person doing the recording.

Bryant says she’s not trying to inhibit anyone’s First Amendment rights.

Concerns about free speech and over-criminalizing teens have hindered lawmakers around the country who’ve tried to crack down on cyberbullies.

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