Facebook debuts blood donation tool

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Blood banks now have a powerful new partner in the tech world: Facebook.

The social media platform wants to register its users to donate blood — but privacy concerns could stand in the way.

When you think about donating blood, you probably think about disasters…

Mass shootings…

Tornadoes…

Utter devastation….

“The irony is the patients who suffer from those tragedies, actually they’re alive because people days before had given blood to make sure that it’s readily available.”

Cliff Numark/American Red Cross

As a doctor at a level 1 trauma center, I’ve seen the extraordinary demand.

In fact, every two seconds in the united states, a patient needs the gift of blood.

“There are so many medical problems in the world, which are not medical problems. They are marketing problems. It’s convincing people to do the right thing. And so this is a problem we can solve.”

Sheryl Sandberg/COO, Facebook

The problem: the Red Cross says only 3% of people in the united states who can give blood do so.

Sheryl Sandburg thinks Facebook is uniquely poised to step in.

“We’re going to put a notice right at the top of news feed asking people to register if they want to. And if you register with our partners, like the American Red Cross, if there’s a need for blood in your city, they’re going to be able to notify you.”

Sheryl Sandberg/COO, Facebook

It’s something Facebook has already done in 4 other countries.

Signed up more than 35 million people as blood donors.

But of course, that’s no guarantee people will actually donate.

Or that they’ll trust Facebook to facilitate that happening.

“Well, with blood donations we’re not using or giving out any personal information. We show you a notice. You choose to go to a partner site like the American Red Cross and register. They’ll send you a notification and then you can choose to give them your information. We’re not passing any individual information at all.”

Sheryl Sandberg/COO, Facebook

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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