Today Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s latest feature, which had previously been described as “life saving”. The new functionality allows users to advertise the fact that they may be an organ donor on their Facebook Timeline.
With 114,000 people in the USA and millions more around the world on waiting lists for replacement organs that may save their lives, Facebook explained the reasoning behind its new feature:
“Many of those people — an average of 18 people per day –- will die waiting, because there simply aren’t enough organ donors to meet the need… Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis.”
Speaking with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America earlier today, Mark Zuckerberg explained that his friendship with the late Steve Jobs – whose life was extended thanks to a liver transplant – helped inspire him to implement this idea.
To make it known on Facebook that you are an organ donor you can create a new ‘Life Event’ on your Timeline under the category ‘Health and Wellness’ where there is an option for ‘Organ Donor’. If you aren’t already registered with the appropriate organisation in your area there is a link you can follow that guides you through the process of signing up to become a donor.
For those worried that this may be a step too far in terms of what private information you post on social networks, you are also able to specify who can see your ‘Organ Donor’ life event through Facebook’s usual privacy settings for a new post. If you want more information there’s a helpful video on Mashable that explains how you can become a Facebook Organ Donor.