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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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.