Why Are Social Media Exploiting the Presidential Race?

Is desire for cultural relevance the driving force behind Facebook and Google's unprecedented involvement in the presidential contest?

What's the Latest Development?

Social media giants such as Facebook and Google have "friended" the 2012 presidential contest at a level almost unimaginable just four years ago. Their stepped-up political presence comes as they hire lobbyists, form political action committees and nurture their relationships with lawmakers whose policy decisions affect the companies' bottom line. What's their main motivation?

What's the Big Idea?

The primary reason is cultural relevance, some suggest. They want to position themselves as the place to go to for people who want to talk about politics. Others say that by appearing socially active and engaged in democracy they hope to develop a big well of good will with the political elites who have the ability to make or break them in the future.

How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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Scientists find a horrible new way cocaine can damage your brain

Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.

Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
  • Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
  • Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
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