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Gini Dietrich

Facebook Creates Organ Donor Update

By: Gini Dietrich | May 3, 2012 | 
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I have to admit, Facebook is doing something I can really get behind.

They want to lower the number of people who die each year waiting for an organ donation.

What? Facebook, the social network? Yes, indeedy.

More than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for a donated organ 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.

And Facebook is set on lowering that number, if not eradicating it all together. They have nearly one billion users. Even if they got only 10 percent to add that they are an organ donor to their Timeline, you have 80 million people who are setting an example.

Of course, that doesn’t mean all 80 million will become organ donors today, but it does mean awareness is being created and, as we all know, peer pressure does some amazing things sometimes.

The experts say people so publicly declaring they are organ donors could spur others to sign up at motor vehicle departments or online registries. But, more importantly, this could  create an informal alternative to such registries that could lead to more organ donations.

That is because having it on your Facebook wall could provide the evidence of consent family members need when dealing with whether to donate the organs of a loved one.

The whole thing is a completely unselfish move – if something tragically happens to you, you make it easy on your family to make that decision and you save someone else’s life.

All you have to do is log into your Facebook account, click on your name, click on “life event” above your status bar, click on “health and wellness,” and you’ll find it in the first slot.

Seems to me like a no-brainer. I’m off to change my status to include the fact that I am an organ donor. Will you join me?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

70 comments
ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@ericamallison Were your ears burning last night?

TheJackB
TheJackB

Not me. As soon as you sign up you just know that you are going to wake up in a hotel room in Vegas lying in a bathtub filled with ice and a hole where your kidney used to be.

 

Everyone knows that Zuckerberg took down Lord Voldemort, er Steve Jobs in similar fashion. Well, they would but they cremated his body so that they could hide the evidence.

 

Just ask @HowieSPM and he'll tell you that FB is up to something.

bhas
bhas

I would have put this on my timeline, only they don't have this option in India. Also, when I called up the local eye bank to talk about donating my headlights, they hung up on me.

 

Maybe it's because my voice gave away my "useless without glasses" status?

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

Well, I guess Zuckerberg is not that concerned about people needing an organ donation, probably much more in cleaning a bit FB image. (Could this move have a positive influence on the IPO?) 

 

Whatever the reasons behind though if this initiative can bring good to those in need of a transplant then it's a good thing.

rachaelseda
rachaelseda

I'm in. And what's even more awesome...this is what I heard reporter in the news today referring to yesterdays report on the amount of organ donors from Facebook -

 

"By the end of the day, 6,000 people had enrolled through 22 state registries, according to Donate Life America, which promotes donations and is working with Facebook. On a normal day, those states together see less than 400 sign up."

 

It's great to see them proactively using their reach for good. My friend's cousin just received a heart transplant. She was born with an oversized heart and has been waiting for yearssss. She is now 20 and the doctors said she would need a new heart in a year for it to take and if she didn't her life expectancy was only 22. So far she's doing well. I hope even more people will be given the chance she has at life thanks to this initiative. 

Alyssa VandeLeest
Alyssa VandeLeest

I applaud Facebook for using their immense reach to propel such an important cause forward. This is obviously great for FB's reputation as well, which I'm sure they're highly aware of. I really hope to see other social networks follow suit and find their own ways to encourage people to pledge their support for relevant causes.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

That is so funny. I never saw all those choices for Life Events! And I love that you can fib and do funny things with them! I am having so much fun with this!

Petya
Petya

This is a good way to use a social network with really a huge number of users for some good and meaningful cause! Unfortunately, I am not so sure how this option will be available in more countries. For example, I can't access it here in Bulgaria. It will be good to hear other people from Europe whether they have it. 

TonyBennett
TonyBennett

This clearly proves that a Zombie Apocalypse is destined to occur. Now the targets will be public... Zuck is going to start getting paid for each organ donated and who better to cover up the conspiracy than the walking dead? How is that unselfish? I will join you, Gini, but the only organ I'm willing to donate is my brain. That way, I'll be no good for the Zombies!

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem

As someone who will need a set of new lungs someday, I appreciate the effort to get more people to consider donation.

jeanniecw
jeanniecw

I love love love this initiative. At the very least, it will raise awareness. At the very best, it will make donor wishes more well known and easier to achieve. I come from a family that has benefited directly from the incredible gift of donor organs. The more we can get behind this, the better, IMHO.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Uhm Gini per Mark Zuckerberg he wants every person not making $50k a year who can't afford premium Facebook services to have their organs taken from them immediately and given to rich people so they can live and spend money in Farmville and on Facebook Commerce. Did you not read his press release?

 

Not sure how this helps actually. I mean we sign up and only become donors if we meet an untimely end. This might get more people to sign up which is admirable but remember this is not a world wide program. Just a US program? I am pretty sure the second biggest group of members in Indonesia (seriously and I was shocked) and not sure they have a program.

 

I just find it a bit weird. I am an organ donor but I am not adding it to my timeline. =P

StaceyHood
StaceyHood

When I first heard about this, I immediately put it on my timeline. It's a cause that I strongly support. A few friends got into a privacy discussion, umm, how? Here's an idea; if you don't like it, don't do it. I believe it brings awareness and starts conversations as Jason said.

Justjeffpls
Justjeffpls

@ginidietrich Wow! I've had 2 RT's on twitter n now a mention in a blog! I've hit the big time!

AnthonyTrott
AnthonyTrott

I'm sure doctors and hospitals will be checking Facebook first for organ donations.

JayDolan
JayDolan

I am an organ donor, I haven't been feeling this since they announced it.

 

How long until advertisers want to target just organ donors? I can see certain non-profits drooling already for that option.

 

Also, how legally binding is it? My account could be hacked and someone could make me an organ donor. My family members could make the change after I had an accident. Stranger things have happened.

 

I think the spirit behind this is a good idea, but I think if we want to really make a difference, this needs to be a policy change that takes place in legislatures, not my Facebook timeline.

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ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @Andrea H. | The Hypnotism Weekly Good point...and it's a great way to keep the company in the news without violating their quiet period around the IPO. Groupon did the same thing last year, but their "news" was all about the bachelors who work on the executive team. I'd rather see this than that.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @rachaelseda WOW! People can knock Facebook for this, but those numbers don't lie. That's amazing. 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @Petya I think it's only available in the U.S. and the U.K. right now. But they're looking at making it global. 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @SociallyGenius I have a friend on FB who told me to watch out when I ride my bike outside. I guess I did just set myself up for the Zombies.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @jennwhinnem You can have my lungs! Well, wait. Maybe just one. I can live without one, right??! 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @jeanniecw I love it, too! And I especially like that, once you add it to your Timeline, it has the peer pressure effect of your friends thinking, "Oh! I should to that, too." I love it.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @HowieSPM The only reason you're not adding it to your Timeline is because you don't use Facebook.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @AnthonyTrott They might not, but it certainly provides family members a place to look if faced with that difficult decision. Most people don't talk about it. They may have it on their license, but that's red tape galore. This just gives people a quick place to look. They'll still have to confirm it, for legal reasons.

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski

 @JayDolan At its core,  this  is an awareness campaign and a conversation starter.  

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ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @JayDolan They said it's not legally binding, but it gives the family an option to say, "Oh, we never talked about it, but I see it on their FB wall." You still have to register through the DMV. While I agree this needs to be a policy change, this is very good for the idea. It will get more people to publicly state they're donors, which will increase donations. Facebook is using their power for good. This is a good thing.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich@AnthonyTrott

but you need to die to be a donor. If you need a kidney usually they will start asking family members for match. Same with bone marrow. You can't just take from anyone. So I can't see searching Facebook. You need to know blood type and unless there is a menu saying what I am willing to part with it just doesn't make sense to me.

 

Plus how many people will click they are...when they really aren't just to look cool

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @jennwhinnem Well....I guess you'd better pray a) I get in a cycling accident and b) I'm a match. 

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski

 @HowieSPM  @ginidietrich  @JayDolan My favorite HST quote --> “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” 

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  1. […] Ken on May 4, 2012 · 0 comments TweetThe big news this week is that Facebook is encouraging its users to sign up as organ donors, and then adding their organ donor status to their timelines. Not surprisingly, a lot of people are […]