Dec 12, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 419 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: Democratic and Republican negotiators in the House and Senate reached a deal "in principle" to fund the federal government through the rest of the 2020 fiscal year.

1 big thing: Tech's guilt trap

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wishing your friends a happy birthday on social media now comes with a side of guilt.

Why it matters: "Tech is making it easier to stick a virtual hand out ... for tips and gifts you might not have planned to give," reports USA Today's Edward C. Baig.

  • On Facebook, more birthday humans are soliciting donations for their charities of choice.
  • Doing nothing comes with a pang of guilt: “It seems odd to transform birthday greetings into a transactional event,” one Facebook user told Baig.

This guilt trap carries over into the physical world, Baig notes.

  • New point-of-sale tech has created the moment when a barista swivels an iPad around and gives you the option of tipping 18%, 20% or 25%.
  • Now you have to make a quick decision on whether you want to tip as the barista and the person behind you in line stare you down.

The big picture: Facebook is leaning into the giving aspect of its platform, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

  • The site has nixed transaction fees on donations and established a $50 million fund to match gifts.
  • In the first year that Facebook added the feature, users raised more than $300 million.

Between the lines: It's getting increasingly easy to spend money on social media platforms.

  • The platforms are getting smarter about targeted ads and adding functions that let you shop without even leaving the app.

The bottom line: There are far worse ways to spend your pocket change than charitable gifts and tips.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Andrew Harrer - Pool/Getty Images

House Republican Doug Collins speaks as Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler listens during a markup hearing on the Articles of Impeachment against President Trump.

2. What you missed
  1. The Senate passed a resolution formally recognizing Turkey's genocide of the Armenian people. Go deeper.
  2. There are now 2,409 confirmed hospital cases of lung injury associated with vaping in all 50 states. Go deeper.
  3. Democratic candidate Andrew Yang noted that the heavy ad spend from billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer reflects "a very poor track record" of prior self-funded candidates. Go deeper.
  4. Facebook has made an initial commitment of $130 million to fund a trust for its global content oversight board, which helps users appeal Facebook's content moderation decisions. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing
Photo: Big Snow American Dream

Indoor skiing has come to New Jersey's Meadowlands, Bloomberg reports.

  • "Big Snow ... rises 16 stories at an angle from the surrounding marshland ... as skiers and snowboarders descend a 1,000-foot-long, 200-foot-wide expanse of snow."
  • "It’s kept at a chilly 28F year-round and serviced by a chairlift that ascends to the rafters, all within sight of the Manhattan skyline."
  • "At its steepest point at the top, the slope ... is comparable to a solid intermediate run at any ski resort."

Buckle up.