By Julia Belluz - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 0 Comments
Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t become any more omnipotent: In May, the social networking giant announced it would allow users to declare their organ donor status on their profiles and link to donor registries in the hopes
of becoming “a big part of helping solve the crisis out there,” as CEO Mark Zuckerberg put it then.
At the time, Science-ish mused about the role the social network could play in getting more people to donate. Today the tool launches in Canada, Mexico, Norway and Belgium—that’s 18 countries in total—and we actually have some preliminary data on the “Facebook effect.”
According to David Fleming
, CEO of Donate Life America, the initial response after Zuckerberg’s announcement “dwarf[ed] any past organ donation initiative.” In California, for example, 70 people each day usually register online as organ donors, while in the 24 hours following the Facebook announcement, 3,900 Californians did the same. But, according to a new report from the U.S., “the dramatic increase in registered organ donors was quickly followed by a dramatic decline. Within two weeks, the rate of registration of new organ donors returned to previous levels.”