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The Fake-User Purge

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What is it?Number of people arrested in Karnataka lynching incident, in which a man suspected to be a child kidnapper was killed based on Whatsapp rumors.

Why it’s important? Whatsapp, a popular messaging app owned by Facebook, has been in the news in India for being used to spread misinformation, sometimes spilling over into the real world as violence. The crime took place in Karnataka on Friday, and is one of a series of such attacks on people suspect of kidnapping children. Between 2012 and 2014, over 2,37,000 children have gone missing according to a database maintained by Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Tell me more: Whatsapp released full page ads warning people against misinformation. Some have pointed out that it’s more a state capacity problem than a Whatsapp problem.

 

129,280

 

What is it?The number of followers prime minister Narendra Modi’s official account @PMOIndia lost on Twitter after the social media platform purged fake accounts in large numbers.

Why is it important?It represents about 0.48% of his followers. Indian president’s Twitter list came out in a better shape compared to several of his peers, including US president Donald Trump, who lost 307,606 followers or 0.58%, and former US president Barack Obama, who lost  2,344,375 or 2.26% of his followers.

Tell me more: Twitter, faced with criticism about a large number of fake accounts, has been removing tens of millions of accounts it has identified as fake. It might turn out to be ineffective. Twitter’s official twitter account has lost 12.33% of its followers or 7,748,704 accounts.

 

62.3 million units

 

What is it? PC shipments in second quarter of 2018, according to research by International Data Corporation.

Why is it important? It’s up 2.7% from same period last year, the strongest growth the segment has seen in over 6 years. Reasons range from users upgrading their old PCs to growing demand for gaming.

Tell me more: Gartner, another firm that also tracks PC shipments (but unlike IDC, counts Windows tablets as PCs but not Chromebooks), also said PC shipments grew for the first time in six years, but only by 1.4%.

 

22

 

What is it?The number of languages covered by parliament’s simultaneous interpretation services.

Why is it important? The upcoming monsoon session of the Parliament, starting 18 July, would be the first time that the lawmakers will be able to speak in any of the 22 scheduled languages.

Tell me more: With the next elections less than a year away,  session is key for NDA, as it seeks to push a number of legislations including  Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017; Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017; Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. NDA does not enjoy majority in Rajya Sabha.

 

5

 

What is it? The number of Sharia courts approved by All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Why is it important? The news of the Muslim Personal Law Board setting up sharia courts has led debates, with some arguing that it is a parallel judicial system, and subverts rule of law. Former president Hamid Ansari recently said it was social practice and not a legal system. Muslim Personal Law board said, it was more like an arbitration council.

Tell me more: The board received ten proposals and the first five will be set up between now and November, including in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The other five are under consideration. Local communities send their proposals, the board appoints a Qazi (or judge).

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