Express Snippets: Rise in number of social media URLs blocked or removedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/rise-in-number-of-social-media-urls-blocked-or-removed-5499504/

Express Snippets: Rise in number of social media URLs blocked or removed

Facebook reported a total of 30,000 restrictions in 2015, 2,700 in 2016, roughly 3,000 in 2017, and about 2,000 in the first half of this year.

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Facebook reported a total of 30,000 restrictions in 2015, 2,700 in 2016, roughly 3,000 in 2017, and about 2,000 in the first half of this year.

New data released by the government show the growing number of government orders to block or remove online content. In a reply to a parliamentary question about “objectionable content on social media,” the Ministry for Information Technology said the highest jump in social media URLs blocked or removed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act occurred this year.

Facebook’s Transparency Report lumps together not just requests from the Ministry but all law-enforcement agencies and court orders as well, leading to vastly different numbers than those presented in Parliament. Facebook reported a total of 30,000 restrictions in 2015, 2,700 in 2016, roughly 3,000 in 2017, and about 2,000 in the first half of this year.

Few takedowns occurred on Twitter. The platform disclosed that India, only behind Pakistan, Russia, and Turkey, had some of the highest demands to takedown content between January and June of this year, but the platform complied with the government requests infrequently. In the first half of this year, the government and law enforcement requested 237 times and the platform compiled for at least some of the content in each request 5% of the time.

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Farout: Most distant object observed in Solar System

Roberto Molar Candanosa & Scott S Sheppard/Carnegie Institution for Science

Astronomers have reported the discovery of the most distant body ever observed in the Solar System, at 120 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun; 1 AU is defined as the distance between the Earth and the Sun. This has led to the nickname “Farout” for the object, provisionally titled 2018 VG18. For context, the second-most distant observed Solar System object is Eris, at about 96 AU. Pluto is currently at about 34 AU. This makes Farout over 3½ times more distant than the Solar System’s most-famous dwarf planet. Farout is also the first known Solar System object that has been detected at a distance that is more than 100 times farther than Earth is from the Sun.

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Details of Farout’s orbit are yet to be clear. All that is currently know is its extreme distance from the Sun, its approximate diameter, and its colour. It orbits very slowly. Farout was discovered as part of a search for extremely distant Solar System objects, including the suspected Planet X, which is sometimes also called Planet 9. —Source: Carnegie Science Institute