You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.
At least 9 lawsuits
Since President Trump took office, his companies have filed at least nine new lawsuits against municipalities arguing for lower tax bills. (Almost every part of that sentence is unprecedented for the modern presidency.) [ProPublica]
+11 percentage points
Rep. Paul Ryan will not run for reelection. That, of course, means the Speaker of the House will definitely be someone new following the 2018 midterms. It also means, however, that Ryan’s own seat could fall into Democratic hands. The 1st Congressional District in Wisconsin is 11 percentage points more Republican-leaning than the nation overall, according to FiveThirtyEight’s partisan lean metric. But in a wave election — which 2018 may be — Democrats have a rather decent shot there [FiveThirtyEight]
With Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just having wrapped up two days of testifying to Congress about his company’s data integrity issues, I offer you this fact: One study found that social media platforms are way more effective at driving traffic to purported “news” sites full of deliberately false information than driving people to sites that actually inform readers — 40 percent of visits to fake news sites came from social media, compared to 10 percent for the 690 top U.S. news sites. [NPR]
Ice cream sundaes, and derivative versions of the dessert, are trending in New York City. Part of this is that when the pastry chef position is eliminated or consolidated with the sous chef job — as appears to be happening more and more — a restaurant’s capacity to produce innovative desserts in-house goes away. Buying ice cream from other people — for instance, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, a popular ice cream supplier for NYC chefs — eliminates that need. Il Laboratorio del Gelato’s flavor list runs into the hundreds, but it turns out that close to 40 percent of the restaurant ice cream it sells in New York is merely vanilla. Lame. [The New York Times]
Reddit has found and will purge 944 accounts with suspected links to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm. Luckily, the overwhelming majority of these accounts sucked at using Reddit. A full 70 percent had zero karma — the net upvote and downvote system that fuels performance on the site — and only 7 percent had more than 1,000 net karma points in their favor. [Gizmodo]
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