Yesterday, ABC teased news that Facebook was planning on unveiling a new tool that had “the power to save lives.” Facebook has now taken the wraps off the tool, which is a status indicator on your Facebook page that you’re an organ donor. Users can select which state they’re registered in, the date they registered to become a donor, as well as a message explaining why.
On top of that, Facebook will be adding links that enable you to register as an organ donor if you haven’t already done so. Clicking the “sign up with an appropriate registry” link will detail information on how you can become a donor in your specific state. As with other information on Facebook, you can restrict who is able to see your organ donor status, or open it up so that the whole world knows.
Today, more than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant that will save their lives. 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. And we believe that by simply telling people that you’re an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.
It’s an interesting move from Facebook. It perhaps isn’t quite what people had in mind when the announcement was teased yesterday, but the important part here is that Facebook will actively direct users to organ donor registration pages in the United States. With so many users on the social networking platform, the rise in registrations is sure to dramatically increase as the scheme sees publicity and awareness. Facebook say that the feature will be available in a limited number of countries to begin with, like the US and UK, and will add more as time goes on.