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Facebook Has Removed 5.4 Billion Fake Accounts This Year

As much as 5% of its monthly user base of nearly 2.5 billion consists of fake accounts, the company said.

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SAN FRANCISCO (United States): Digital media giant Facebook says it has stopped 5.4 billion fake accounts so far this year, in a sign of a persistent battle on social media against manipulation and disinformation.

The company said it removed more than 3.2 billion fake accounts between April and September, compared with more than 1.5 billion during the same period last year. The company also said it removed 11.4 million pieces of hate speech, compared to 5.4 million in the same six-month period in 2018.

As much as 5% of its monthly user base of nearly 2.5 billion consists of fake accounts, the company said, despite advances in technology that have allowed Facebook to catch more fake accounts the moment they are created.


The disclosure highlights the scale of the challenge before Facebook as it prepares for a high-stakes election season in the United States, as well as the 2020 US census.

Analysts and watchdogs are bracing for a wave of fake and misleading content on social media following revelations about election meddling in 2016.

In its latest transparency report, the Internet firm said it has improved its ability to detect and block attempts to create fake and abusive accounts.


The detailed report also showed that government demands for user information hit a new high led by the US.

For the first time, Facebook included Instagram in the report. The company said it made progress in detecting child nudity and sexual exploitation, removing more than 1.2 million pieces of content between April and September.

Instagram spokesperson Stephanie Otway told VOA that Instagram previously had different ways of measuring enforcement on their community standards policies.

“We brought our methodology in line with Facebook and that alignment meant we were able to share metrics for the first time today,” Otway said.

Overall, requests by governments for Facebook user data rose 16 per cent to 128,617 in the first half of this year.


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COVID19

COVID-19: Get Help With Govt’s Official Mobile App ‘Aarogya Setu’

It is available for both Android and iOS and here’s how it can be used to detect COVID-19.

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NEW DELHI: More than one crore individuals have downloaded the ‘Aarogya Setu’ mobile App. The government had launched a mobile app to bring the people of the country together in a resolute fight against COVID-19.

The App, called ‘AarogyaSetu’ joins Digital India for the health and well-being of every Indian. The App will enable people to assess themselves the risk for their catching the Coronavirus infection.

It will calculate this based on their interaction with others, using cutting edge Bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence.


What Is It?

Aarogya Setu, which translates from Sanskrit to ‘a bridge of health.’ tells users if they can catch Coronavirus and makes use of GPS and Bluetooth to determine if a person is near or have been in contact with a Coronavirus-infected person.

The app aims to tell people about the ‘best’ practices they can follow and the apt sources they can refer to so that people can cope well with the ongoing virus outbreak.


The app is available in 11 languages including English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, among others and needs permission to access a user’s location (which is required to be on always), Bluetooth, and data. The app claims to share the user data only with the Government of India and not third parties.

How to Use It?

The Aarogya Setu app is available for both Android and iOS users and can be downloaded via both the Google Play Store and the App Store.

  • Go to either Google Play Store or the App Store
  • Look for Aarogya Setu in the search bar
  • Hit the Install option to download it
  • Once the Aarogya Setu app is downloaded, open the app on either your Android or iOS device
  • Select the preferred language from 11 language options
  • You need to go past a couple of screens that give an idea about the app
  • Following this, provide the app with device location, Bluetooth, and data sharing permissions and click I Agree.
  • Don’t forget to turn on the Bluetooth of your smartphone
  • Enter your 10-digit mobile number and verify with an OTP received
  • Fill in your personal details such as gender, full name, age, profession, travel history, and then click on the Submit option

Once all this is done, you will know if you are at the risk of getting Coronavirus, help centres, a self-assessment test, and more Coronavirus related information.

Additionally, the app asks you to use the app from time-to-time to remain updated.


It may be recalled that the last week, MeitY introduced the Corona Kavach app solving a similar purpose. However, the app is in beta as of now and is available only for Android users.

The Aarogya Setu app has a cleaner and simpler UI as compared to Corona Kavach and is available for both Android and iOS users.

Another distinguishing feature between both apps is that Corona Kavach also lists down the number of active Coronavirus cases in the country.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

COVID-19: Pune-Based Startup Develops New Tech To Disinfect Maharashtra Hospitals

One hour of operation of the machine reduces viral load within a room by 99.7% depending on room size.

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PUNE (Maharashtra): A technology has been developed by an incubatee company of Scitech Park, Pune which offers an effective solution for India’s fight against Covid 19 by reducing the viral load of infected areas within a room significantly within an hour.

The negative ion generator titled Scitech Airon, which helps to control the virus, bacteria, and fungal infections in a closed environment, could clean up the air and disinfect areas which are exposed to the infection through Covid 19 positive cases and suspects.

Hence it could ensure the wellbeing of the staff, doctors, and nurses who are working round the clock in the quarantine facilities by enhancing their disease resistance power and ability to fight the virus.


Its usefulness in killing disease-causing viruses and bacteria has been scientifically tested by various globally renowned labs in different types of closed environments like houses, hospitals, schools, farms, industries, and so on.

One hour of operation of Ion generator machine reduces viral load within a room by 99.7% depending on room size.

The Scitech Airon ionizer machine generates negatively charged ions at approx hundred million per 8 seconds (10 ions per sec).


The negative ions generated by the ionizer form clusters around microparticles such as airborne mold, corona or influenza viruses, mite allergens, bacteria, pollens, dust and so on and render them inactive through a chemical reaction by creating highly reactive OH groups called hydroxyl radicals and H O which are highly reactive and known as atmospheric detergents.

The detergent property generated by the ion generator helps in the breakdown of the outer protein of the allergens, viruses, and bacteria, which helps in controlling airborne diseases.

It increases the body’s resistance to infections and harmful environmental factors. This resistance could be helpful for the next 20-30 days outside the ion atmosphere. It also decomposes gaseous pollutants like Carbon Monoxide (1000 times more harmful than Carbon dioxide), Nitrogen dioxide, and Volatile Organic Compounds.

The efficacy of the Ion generator has also been observed on different types of pathogens like the Influenza virus, Coxsackie virus, Poliovirus, Human Coronavirus, a range of allergens, bacteria, and fungi.

It could also be useful against floating viruses in the air on public transport, train stations, or airports, or especially within a confined space like a plane cabin, house, hospital ward, and so on.

The technology has been developed under the NIDHI PRAYAS program initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).


DST has released Rs 1 crore to manufacture and scale up the product, and 1000 of them will soon be ready for installation in various hospitals in Maharashtra. JCLEAN WEATHER TECHNOLOGIES, a Pune based company, is manufacturing the product.

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Digital and Technology

33,152 Cyber Crime Incidents Reported So Far On Government Portal

By January 30, the NCRP received over 30,000 complaints; 790 FIRs have been registered by agencies.

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NEW DELHI: The government today said that 33,152 cybercrime incidents have been reported till 30th of last month on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal and 790 FIRs have been registered by the concerned Law Enforcement Agencies.

In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said that Ministry of Home Affairs operationalised National Cybercrime Reporting Portal on August 30, 2019, and the complaints reported are dealt by the Law Enforcement Agencies of the concerned State and Union Territory as per provisions of the law.

Reddy informed that the Home Ministry has rolled out a scheme ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to combat cybercrime in the country, in a coordinated and effective manner.


The scheme has seven components, National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit, National Cybercrime Reporting Portal, Platform for Joint Cybercrime Investigation Team, National Cybercrime Forensic Laboratory Ecosystem, National Cybercrime Training Centre,  National Cybercrime Ecosystem Management Unit and National Cybercrime Research and Innovation Centre.

The Minister added that 17 States and 4 Union Territories have agreed to set up the Regional Cyber Crime Coordination Centres.

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