Facebook Encourages Organ Donors To Go Public

Silicon Valley titans trying to rally fan boys and girls to become organ donors is nothing new.

Steve Jobs famously encouraged Apple users to become organ donors when he returned to the public eye and revealed that he had received a liver from a donor.

Tuesday Facebook unveiled a feature that allows its more than 900 million users to let the world know that they are registered organ donors.

Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with ABC News that Jobs' story was one of the main motivations behind the new feature.

"That definitely, I think, was something that we all had in mind as we were building this out," Zuckerberg said. "His story is just one of many, of people who both were able to have an organ transplant that made his life longer and he was extremely thankful for that."

The new feature allows Facebook users to state that they are an organ donor on their timeline and to share why and when they decided to become one.

"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," Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a blog post announcing the new feature. "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."

Users who are not organ donors will be given the option to click on a link and elect to become one.

Facebook hopes people sharing their organ status on their timeline will encourage more to become donors.

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