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09/17/2014 12:27 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Activists Use Social Media To Help Identify Alleged Philadelphia Anti-Gay Attack Assailants

In a story telling of the times that we live in, activists have used social media to help identify a group of assailants that allegedly attacked a gay couple last Thursday, Sept. 11, as they walked down the street in Philadelphia.

Two men who wish to remain anonymous reportedly fell victim to a horrific beating at the hands of a "well-dressed" group of men and women who allegedly called them "dirty fags." One man was so badly injured that he suffered a bone fracture in his face that will require surgery, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Surveillance footage soon emerged of the alleged suspects. Then, according to Gawker, a Twitter user named Greg Bennett found a photo of the group at a restaurant, who he identified by the similarity of their clothing.

"Bennett tweeted that he'd gotten the photo from 'a friend of a friend of a friend,' but didn't know where it was taken. That's where another Twitter user stepped in: FanSince09, a diehard Eagles fan who apparently lives in South Jersey," Gawker stated. "Fan retweeted the photo; almost immediately, he got a torrent of responses from people telling him the restaurant was La Viola, an Italian place in Center City. He tweeted that he ID'd most of the people in the photo by checking their Facebook check-ins."

As a result of the social media sleuthing, a number of members of the group have obtained lawyers and according to Philly's 6ABC.com, "those attorneys were making arrangements to bring their clients in for questioning on Wednesday."

And here you thought social media was just to share photos of that eggplant parmesan you made last night.

Clarification: The original headline of this story used the term "hate crime" to refer to the attack. However, in Philadelphia, crimes against someone based on his or her sexual orientation do not qualify as bias crimes, and therefore, the headline has been changed.

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