Facebook wants to increase organ donations by publicizing donors

In the U.S., organ donors can be ID'd quickly by the little red heart on their driver's license or state ID card. Facebook just became an agent for raising organ donation awareness by adding a status option that'll let all your friends know you're an organ donor.

Inspired by conversations with his med-student girlfriend and former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that simply by informing people that you're an organ donor, more donors will come forth.

In a co-authored blog post with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Zuckerberg outlines the social network's change from being a small network to keep in touch with friends and family to becoming "a powerful tool for communication and problem solving."

Today, more than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant 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. 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.

As of today, Facebook users in the U.S. and U.K. can now add the "I became an organ donor..." status to their timeline.

Speaking to ABC News, Zuckberg says that the social network's goal is to simplify the process for becoming a organ donor. Each organ donor status is linked to a user's appropriate organ donor registry.

Facebook Newsroom, via ABC News

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