Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.
Facebook users have long been able to share the most minute details of their lives, from what they're having for lunch to what three-letter word they just played in Words With Friends. Starting Tuesday, they'll be able to share something a little more substantive: whether they are an organ donor.
The move is aimed at using social pressure to increase the ranks of organ donors around the world and, in the words of the New York Times, is a "rare foray by Facebook into social engineering from social networking, and one with a potentially profound effect."
In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg explained that he was inspired to make the change by his girlfriend, who is a pediatrician, and by his mentor Steve Jobs, whose underwent a liver transplant during his battle with cancer.
The donor status will be part of a larger Health and Wellness section being added to user profiles, which will also include space for details such as a member's weight loss. The feature will be rolled out in the United States and Great Britain first, but is expected to expand to the rest of the Facebook empire in the future. For those looking to update their profiles, you can find step-by-step directions on how to do so here.
While Zuckerberg and co. hope that users will follow provided links to online databases where they can officially register their donor status, some experts are speculating that an informal Facebook declaration could provide at least some legal weight if a person is declared as a donor on their profile but not officially signed up in a state registry. The NYT has more on that topic here.