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Not Content With Data, Facebook Wants Your Organs

Facebook will soon encourage its American and British users to declare their organ donor status as part of their personal profile. Organ donation advocates are praising the move. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Facebook will soon use its sizable social influence to encourage members to list their organ donation status as part of their personal profile. In a biographical section called Health and Wellness, users will be able to declare whether or not they intend to donate their organs along with information about having recently lost weight or broken a bone. While Facebook’s organ donor status will not function as an official registry, the site plans to provide links to “state online donor registries, where people can change their donor status.” Facebook will introduce the change first in the US and UK. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Organ donation advocates are hailing Facebook’s newest social engineering initiative, saying that the majority of people who die for lack of organs do so because there are not enough donors. Advocates also take issue with the current system, which forces people to decide while at the DMV. “This is going to be an historic day in transplant,” said Dr. Andrew M. Cameron, the surgical director of liver transplantation at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Using peer-pressure to nudge people toward changing their behavior is something new for Facebook. Its attempts at preventing suicide and online bullying have allowed users to reach out anonymously. 

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