Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Mark Zuckerberg wants to use his social networking platform to influence people into registering as organ donors. As of Tuesday, Facebook users can post publicly on their timeline that they are organ donors. Zuckerberg’s inspiration comes from COO, Sheryl Sandberg and Dr. Andrew M. Cameron. Zuckerberg went to Harvard with Sandberg, and they formulated the idea at their college reunion last spring. Cameron is a transplant surgeon at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Zuckerberg was additionally motivated to implement this program because he was impressed by how communities use Facebook to organize and find family members in the midst of tragedy.
Zuckerberg notes that users will need to embrace the idea of sharing what some may feel is very personal information for this program to be effective. The initiative has a good chance of success because critics have observed that slacktivism is popular among social network users. Slacktivism is “when someone participates in an activist cause by doing nothing more than signing a petition or creating a status update drawing attention to a critical issue.” Registering as an organ donor falls squarely within this definition. In addition to posting that you are already an organ donor, if you’re not already, users in the U.S. and U.K. can use the Facebook feature to sign-up to donate organs.
See Ian Paul, Facebook Wants You to Donate Your Organs, PCWorld, May 1, 2012.