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Morning Update: Making Twitter The Good Place

The ACLU challenges Ohio's abortion law, Australia's upcoming election, Kylie Jenner backlash. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, May 16.

Posted on May 16, 2019, at 7:20 a.m. ET

Immigrants are being forced to sleep outside on the ground at a Texas facility: “Why do they treat us like this?”

The Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas has been converted into a holding site for hundreds of recently-arrived migrant families, most of them from Central America.

But as Border Patrol is overwhelmed with an unprecedented number of migrant families arriving at the border, people held at the McAllen station have had to sleep outside on the dirt and grass. In some cases, mothers and their children slept outside in the rain.

The focus turned to McAllen after CNN published images of migrants, including children, sleeping outside with thermal blankets. The network got them from a source with access to the facility who was “disturbed” by the conditions.

We spoke to people who were detained in the McAllen station about the conditions there. One told us, “I thought the US treated people better, but they treated us so bad.”

Loren Elliott / Reuters

The ACLU is suing over Ohio’s six-week abortion ban

Yesterday, Alabama’s governor officially signed the strictest abortion law in the US, though it won’t take effect for six months.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s six-week abortion ban, as part of a multistate legal fight over laws that ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Ohio was the sixth state to adopt a six-week ban, joining Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Mississippi. These laws have either been blocked in court or haven’t taken effect yet.

Anti-abortion politicians and activists are aware that these bills have no chance of surviving lower court review, but passing them is an effort to get the issue back before the Supreme Court.

SNAPSHOTS

Australia’s election is on Saturday — here’s what you need to know. The country got a new prime minister nine months ago, but Australians head back to the polls on May 18. Voting is compulsory in Australia. Catch up on the election.

The Colorado STEM School shooting suspects have been charged with murder. The two students accused of opening fire at the Denver school, killing one classmate and injuring eight others, were charged with murder and multiple counts of attempted murder.

California’s largest utility caused the state’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. The wildfire killed 85 people and nearly leveled the town of Paradise, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. Fire officials determined that Pacific Gas & Electric is responsible for sparking the blaze.

The US isn’t signing a pledge to fight online extremism after Christchurch. 17 countries and major tech companies are taking a stand against online terrorism and extremism in the wake of the deadly mosque attacks in New Zealand, but the US will not be joining them.

Kylie Jenner revealed her new skincare line and there’s already a backlash. Jenner is expanding her already-massive beauty empire with new skincare products. The backlash to Jenner’s new line rested on one product in particular — the walnut face scrub.

Behind Twitter’s plan to get people to stop yelling at one another

No one quite remembers how it got this way, but Twitter has devolved into one of the angriest places online. It’s home to some of the internet’s worst behaviors, like trolling, misinformation and tribalized outrage.

The people who run Twitter are acutely aware of this. That’s because in order to keep users on the platform — and advertising revenue flowing — the company needs to figure out how to make its service a better place for people to spend time.

So Twitter’s going back to basics. The company launched twttr, an external, public prototype that is reimagining what Twitter could look like. It’s testing features that make the platform more human.

The idea is simple: “If you can see who you’re replying to, then you may change the tone in which you reply.” We got an inside look into the twttr team’s efforts to rethink Twitter’s toxicity.

Gwyneth Paltrow shared screenshots of her text exchange with her daughter about ~that~ online privacy debate

In March, Paltrow shared a picture of her and her daughter Apple on Instagram. Apple responded by saying, “Mom we discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent.”

The whole episode set off a debate about parents respecting their children’s privacy, and when it’s OK to share.

Yesterday, for Apple’s 15th birthday, the actor posted a sweet photo of her daughter, as well as a good revisit of that privacy debate. People have been enjoying the cheekiness, but also 1) the fact that Apple pre-approved some photos for posting and 2) that Paltrow appears to have learned the lesson.


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