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Sex-trafficking bill hits a nerve in Silicon Valley

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Of all the policy fights big internet companies are facing this fall, a sex-trafficking bill with bi-partisan support on the Senate has them rattled the most. And it has the potential to escalate quickly as critics of Silicon Valley firms look for opportunities to hit them where it hurts.

What it does: The bill, backed by senators Rob Portman and Richard Blumenthal, aims to hold online platforms liable for illegal ads that led to sex-trafficking.

Why it matters: Internet companies including Google, Facebook and Amazon say that the bill threatens the core of their business models — because they couldn't have grown to their current size if they were responsible for all of the content they host. But by opposing the measure, they're being painted as not doing enough to help the victims of sex-trafficking.