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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

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."