Facebook begins organ donor initiative

Zuckerberg announces new tools to encourage people to announce donor status on Good Morning America

Facebook on Tuesday announced an initiative to inspire members of the social network to post their organ donor status, offering a new Health and Wellness section.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg talked about the new feature in an interview with the "Good Morning America" television show, noting that the idea for the new set of tools arose when people in disaster areas used Facebook to communicate.

"Just recently when tornados came through Missouri a lot of people were using Facebook to organize and return items that were lost," Zuckerberg told Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, in a pretaped segment.

Zuckerberg also mentioned that in the wake of the tragic Japanese earthquake in March 2011, Facebook was used to help people find family members.

"So we figured, OK, can we help people do anything that would solve other types of issues, like all of the people who need organ donations," Zuckerberg said.

The Facebook initiative calls for members to announce as well as update their organ donation status. The donor status will show up along with other data in a Health and Wellness section, which can also include other heath information.

This feature will also offer links to state online donor registries, where people can change their donor status.

Asked whether his friendship with Steve Jobs, who had received a kidney transplant and died last year of pancreatic cancer, had figured into his thinking, Zuckerberg said the Apple founder had been in mind.

"He was a friend and as we were thinking through this I definitely think it was something we all had in mind," Zuckerberg said.

More than 100,000 people in the U.S. are on lists waiting for organ transplants, and 18 people in the country die every day because they have not received organs in time, according to the ABC report.

"Even if this doesn't touch everyone I hope it can make an impact," Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg said his girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, who is training to be a pediatrician, encouraged the initiative.

Facebook is offering the new feature in the U.S. and U.K., and has plans to roll it out to other countries.

The television interview Tuesday morning included one business-oriented question, about Facebook's upcoming initial public offering. Noting that Zuckerberg has avoided talking about the company's business performance while it has been private, Roberts asked how its new status will affect his penchant for reticence on the financial front, and how the change will impact the company culture.

"When you are public there are rules for how you report stuff so we'll just do that, but the focus of what we do here is not going to change, our goal and the thing we're going to do is to build great things," Zuckerberg said.

This is not the first time that Facebook has made a foray into public service. In December, the company launched Lifeline, designed to let people alert Facebook about possible attempts at suicide. Facebook also announced in March an effort to help curb cyberbullying, offering a tool for reporting incidents of intimidation and pressure.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Marc Ferranti

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?