Facebook launched its ‘Life saving‘ feature just yesterday where users can update their intention to donate organs.
There will be critics who say that this is attention seeking for donors or that slacktivism will mean that people don’t actually do as they pledge on social networks. But the figures are already starting to speak for themselves as the sign-up rate for organ donation is rising.
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So how does this translate in the UK?
Chris Gorman, Media & PR Officer for NHS Blood and Transplant says that in the first 24 hours there have been at least 850 sign-ups to the Organ Donor Register (ODR) directly through the Facebook arrangement.
By highlighting the service via Facebook’s feature, the amount of people signing up via the ODR’s normal website more than tripled. Gorman says that around 450 to 500 people sign up each day and that 1,800 people registered after the feature was launched.
There are plenty of other ways in which donors can register – via driving licence applications, shop loyalty cards and over the phone as well as on the website.
Though some might say that the lofty ambitions of Facebook to save lives is sentimental, these numbers show that leveraging a site with millions of users can indeed head toward saving lives and real-life action.