Facebook adds organ donor option to user's Timeline

After teasing us on Monday, Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revealed the new feature for the social networking site that he claims will help save lives. In a press release, co-written by Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, it is revealed that a Facebook user can now show that he or she is an organ donor on their Timeline profile.

The article states over 114,000 people in the US are waiting for a heart, kidney or liver transplant, and millions more are waiting for a similar organ donation worldwide. Many people die each day because their needed organ is not available. Zuckerberg and Sandberg write:

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.

The new feature also allows Facebook users to tell their own personal story of how and why they decided to become an organ donor. If a Facebook user is interested in becoming a donor, the website has set up a way for someone to find out how to sign up for their state or national organ donor registry.

Image via Facebook

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I have a good read, thanks for the information and insights you have so provided here. I will certainly bookmark your blog for future reads. Thanks!
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wotsit said,
Great idea - should be opt out, not opt in by law

I'd opt out. I wouldn't just donate organs to anybody, especially someone who didn't take care of the organs they had to begin with. If it was a genetic thing or something, that's another story, but as you know, people can mess with the system and jump ahead on these waiting lists just because they have money.

wotsit said,
Is this US only?

Nope, it works for me in the UK. I can add the event, and it links me to the NHS organ donation page.

This makes sense, most people who use Facebook have already opted out of having a brain. So why do they need other organs?

How dangerous is that. Well, a lot.

Rich gets organs in no time. It is a business.

In my case, i talked with my family that they will decide if they want to give my organs or not. I know that it is not ideal but i don't want to a greedy doctor will decide for my life.

soon facebook will be adding marriage counseling and bereavement buttons
"to bring awareness"

some thing tells me if it was the winklevoss twins running things none of this rubbish would
be added to the site

Sounds good to me too. It's not like Facebook are saying that by hitting the "donor" button you become a donor...those who are misinterpreting that needs to re-read.

It will give those wishing to become a donor the information they need to become one, and also give awareness to others that they have indeed done so.

Great cause.

All you need now is for people to post blood types and you will get people killing someone that could be a possible match that's a donor so you can get their organs .

This is just stupid. Facebook doesn't need to know this information.

This is a great idea.

I'm not a Facebook user, but I appreciate that it's a significant part of daily life for millions of people. If this new feature helps to raise awareness of organ donation - which I'm confident it will - that's surely a great thing.

There are thousands of people out there on waiting lists for organs because of a shortage of donors. Seems to me that the point is to remind people that *haven't* specified themselves as organ donors to do so, if they are willing.

I don't see anything wrong with it. If it gets even a few thousand additional donors to sign up, then that's potentially several hundred lives saved.

Of course, haters gonna hate - so to them this is just one more reason to hate something they already hate.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
There are thousands of people out there on waiting lists for organs because of a shortage of donors. Seems to me that the point is to remind people that *haven't* specified themselves as organ donors to do so, if they are willing.

I don't see anything wrong with it. If it gets even a few thousand additional donors to sign up, then that's potentially several hundred lives saved.

Of course, haters gonna hate - so to them this is just one more reason to hate something they already hate.


Well said!

thekim said,
Why I'm thinking this is going too far?

Because you don't understand the value of such a powerful and useful feature. If you read my reply to sava700's comment, located above, you may see why this is such a great addition

This is what that one spot is on you're drivers license is for.. why does facebook want to push their way into something of this nature is beyond me. I really wish Facebook would just die already and donate it's organs to becoming calculators!

sava700 said,
This is what that one spot is on you're drivers license is for.. why does facebook want to push their way into something of this nature is beyond me. I really wish Facebook would just die already and donate it's organs to becoming calculators!

Key words: "broader awareness about organ donation"

Like it or not, Facebook is by far, the largest form of social media around.

sava700 said,
This is what that one spot is on you're drivers license is for.. why does facebook want to push their way into something of this nature is beyond me. I really wish Facebook would just die already and donate it's organs to becoming calculators!

Yeah, I don't really see the point personally. What if someone hacks your Facebook and signs you up to be an organ donor now? Will this at some point trump your license as being "more up to date"?

sava700 said,
This is what that one spot is on you're drivers license is for.. why does facebook want to push their way into something of this nature is beyond me. I really wish Facebook would just die already and donate it's organs to becoming calculators!

I do not understand the hate for Facebook. It is a great tool for many purposes. One of those purposes is to help save lives, and this is just one of the ways that can be achieved. That idea isn't "just marketing," like some of you may believe: I had planned to look into organ donation at some point in my life, but I probably wouldn't have ended up becoming an organ donor today if I hadn't been reminded of the problem upon hearing this news. Similarly, people will see their friends or subscriptions sharing information about them having become organ donors, and some of them will feel compelled to sign up and join the cause; thus, more lives will be saved.

This is a wonderful use of social media, and it is saddening that some people like you refuse to acknowledge how useful and helpful it is to society. You should remember, some of the revolutions we saw last year, that led to oppressed people becoming free, would not have happened if it wasn't for Facebook. Victims of the natural disaster in Japan would have lost certain prized possessions, if it hadn't been for Facebook.

Edited by Calum, May 1 2012, 2:03pm :

M_Lyons10 said,
Yeah, I don't really see the point personally. What if someone hacks your Facebook and signs you up to be an organ donor now? Will this at some point trump your license as being "more up to date"?

That isn't how this works. This feature doesn't offer the option to sign up to be an organ donor, without the user requiring all of the personal information that is required by the organisation overseeing organ donation. All that is offered in that regard is a link to an official sign up form, on the organisation's official Facebook Page, on their website, or via other mediums. So if someone has all of the information required to sign you up as an organ donor (address, date of birth etc.), they can do so without accessing your Facebook account anyway.

sava700 said,
This is what that one spot is on you're drivers license is for.. why does facebook want to push their way into something of this nature is beyond me. I really wish Facebook would just die already and donate it's organs to becoming calculators!

Not all countries have this on their driver's licences. In fact, I'd guess most don't, having lived in 3 countries in my life, only 1 country did, and it only had a population of 4m people.