Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

News in numbers: Facebook removes 652 accounts for ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’

In other news, groundwater inflow into river Ganges reduced by 50%, 2.3 million people left Venezuela since 2014

652

What is it? The number of pages, groups and accounts that Facebook removed from its platforms for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour".

Why is it important? Facebook said these originated in Iran and Russia, and targeted people in the Middle East, Latin America, UK and US. Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter have been under tremendous pressure to regulate user content after it emerged that Russia used it to influence voter behaviour during US presidential elections.

Tell me more: Earlier this week, Microsoft said that it thwarted attempts by Russian hackers to steal information about American political organizations.

50%

What is it? The reduction in groundwater inflow into river Ganges compared with 1970s, according to a new study in Nature’s Scientific Reports.
Why is it important?
When the river is deprived of groundwater inflow, it might run dry when there are no rains, and might worsen pollution, causing damage to the ecosystem. If it goes unchecked, the flow will reduce by 75% in the next 30 years compared to 1970s.
Tell me more:
Indiscriminate extraction of water from near the river leads to reduction in groundwater inflow into it. Of the 28 locations that the researchers studied using satellite data, 19 showed severe depletion.

2.3 million

What is it? The number of people who have left Venezuela since 2014.

Why is it important? The exodus follows job losses, hyperinflation (it’s facing an annual inflation at 1,000,000%, according to International Monetary Fund) and food shortages in the country, initially triggered by drop in oil prices and worsened by a series of policy decisions.

Tell me more: This week the country introduced its new currency, devaluing it by 95%, hoping it will curb inflation. Even as businesses struggled to adapt to the change, critics fear that it could end up making the economy worse.

Data and text by howindialives .

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