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Significant Digits For Wednesday, May 16, 2018

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

Some personal news first: I’m leaving FiveThirtyEight soon to start a forthcoming daily newsletter, Numlock News. SigDig will absolutely continue with a new writer, but if you’ve been a fan of my run please subscribe!

8 percent

Twitter will attempt to suppress content from individuals if a new algorithm identifies them as espousing “behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation.” In tests, the new algorithm reduced abuse reports by 8 percent in conversations. Human programmers have imparted their personal biases into algorithms before, so let’s see how this one goes before doling out the faves, alright? [New York Magazine]

11 to 18 named storms

The annual Hurricane Genesis and Outlook Project report predicts that there will be 11 to 18 named tropical storms this year; seven are projected to become hurricanes and three are forecasted to be major. The forthcoming “normal to above normal” hurricane season is awful news for regions like Puerto Rico and the Gulf, which are still recovering from last year’s pounding. [The New Republic]

94 percent

A study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that, among data collected from 2014 to 2016, 94 percent of public school teachers spent their own unreimbursed money on school supplies. The median total amount spent was $297, and the average was $479. [CNN]

583 million fake accounts

In Facebook’s first-ever quarterly enforcement report the company announced it had shut down 583 million fake accounts on the site over the course of three months. The company also took action against 1.9 million pieces of terrorist propaganda and 3.4 million pieces of graphic violence. [The Guardian]

$3.2 billion

In what could become the biggest company in the nascent marijuana industry, Aurora Cannabis is offering to buy MedReleaf for $3.2 billion. The combined marijuana industrial giant could have a valuation north of $7 billion, which would make it the biggest pot company on the planet. It would have nine facilities in Canada and two in Denmark with an annual manufacturing output of about 570,000 kilograms per year. [CBC]

3.4 billion

A new report from the International Energy Agency forecasts that the number of cooling units (i.e. air conditioning, fans, and dehumidifiers) in use in 2050 will be about 8 billion, up substantially from the current 3.4 billion air cooling units Earth uses to make some spaces arbitrarily colder than adjacent ones. In the U.S. and Japan, around 90 percent of homes have air conditioning, but only 5 percent of Indian homes and 7 percent of Indonesian homes do. [The Financial Times]

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Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.