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Our 9 Favorite Feature Stories This Week: Anonymous, Revenge Porn, And A Farewell To Joan

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This week for BuzzReads, Ryan Broderick introduces the women who are fighting to criminalize revenge pornography. Read that and these other great stories from BuzzFeed and around the web.

1. The Revenge Porn Fixers — BuzzFeed

Photograph by Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

This week’s hack of celebrity nudes may be the most high-profile example of “revenge porn” — humiliating women by spreading private photos. A dedicated group of activists, led by the mother of a victim, has been pushing for more aggressive laws, but can this really be stopped? Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. How Municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., Profit from PovertyThe Washington Post

Courtesy of Missouri Department of Transportation

Ferguson exposed racial tensions in St. Louis to the rest of the world. But discrimination in Missouri goes much deeper: “St. Louis County’s unique political geography, heightened class-consciousness, and the regrettable history that created both have made the St. Louis suburbs especially prone to a Ferguson-like eruption.” Read it at The Washington Post.

3. The Masked AvengersThe New Yorker

Paper sculpture by Jeff Nishinaka / Photograph by Scott Dunbar

David Kushner with an inside look at Anonymous: “Anonymous might be the most powerful nongovernmental hacking collective in the world. Even so, it has never demonstrated an ability or desire to damage any key elements of public infrastructure.” Read it at the New Yorker.

4. The ForsakenRolling Stone

Redux / Via rollingstone.com

Many gay teens from religious families are excommunicated and cut off when they come out. Alex Morris reports on this horrifying, growing crisis. Read it at Rolling Stone.

5. Kristin Beck Is A Different Kind Of Transgender Pioneer — BuzzFeed

CNN

Lady Valor, the documentary that follows the former Navy SEAL’s life after coming out as a trans woman, pushes the envelope of trans representation. In this interview with Adam B. Vary, Beck reveals she wouldn’t have it any other way. Read it at BuzzFeed.

6. The End of Neighborhood Schools — NPR

Photography by Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans turned to charter schools to fix its school system. Then a strange thing happened: “Amid all of this, in the past five years, the city has posted the largest, fastest improvement in test scores ever produced in an urban public school system.” Read it at NPR.

7. How to Get Into an Ivy League College–GuaranteedBloomberg Businessweek

Photograph by Damien Maloney for Bloomberg Businessweek

Can an algorithm tell high school students exactly what they need — what GPA, what SAT score, what extracurriculars — to get into any college? One San Francisco business is betting on it. Read it at Bloomberg Businessweek.

8. How “Empire Records” Became The Unlikely Film Of A Generation — BuzzFeed

Regency Entertainment / Warner Brothers / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Engineered to be the teen-movie equivalent of the mid-’90s alt-rock zeitgeist, Empire Records flopped in the theaters, only to become a cult classic a generation later. For the first time, the people who made the movie talk about how it came together, why it bombed, and how it found its second life. Read it at BuzzFeed.

9. Joan Rivers Always Knew She Was FunnyNew York

Photo: Dan Gross / AP / Via nymag.com

The comedian died this week at 81. In this fantastic 2010 profile, Jonathan Van Meter pinpoints what made her so very great: “Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed. This is the mantra of the pessimist and the persecuted alike, the preemptive strike of those who tend to paint the picture a little blacker than it is. And then there is Joan Rivers, the orneriest creature ever to darken Hollywood’s door.” Read it at New York.

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