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Congress is flooded with bills for childproofing the internet

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

This week, lawmakers and regulators made a fresh push to strengthen privacy and safety protections for children online, introducing a flood of bills and enforcement proposals with varying amounts of support from their colleagues, civil liberties groups, and tech trade associations alike. The burst of action comes on the heels of an ongoing youth mental health crisis that seemingly all stakeholders want to resolve, but many fear these proposals could create new problems for children and members of marginalized communities online.

The largely bipartisan bills were filed in quick succession. Last Wednesday, a group of senators introduced the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act, which would establish a nationwide age verification pilot…

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