Facebook: There Will Be Blood

Facebook: There Will Be Blood

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Flipboard
Pocket

Can Facebook, the popular social networking site, solve America’s blood shortages?

Takes All Types, a group billing itself as the first bottom-up blood donor experiment, is tapping social networks to find out. The group’s Facebook application explains:

The mission is to improve communities’ local blood supplies by amassing a network of blood donors across the United States and then we send personalized alerts targeted by geography and blood type when our users are needed to donate.

2008-03-10-Picture1.png

 

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington offers more context:

About 43,000 pints of blood are donated each day… Total donations aren’t adequate to satisfy demand, though, and shortages occur regularly. When a patient is in need of blood that isn’t available, it becomes a life and death situation. Historically the Red Cross will make efforts to alert the public during a shortage. But there may be a better way – leverage the social networks to get the word out. If shortages of a certain type of blood occur in a certain zip code, having a database of willing donors in that zip code to contact may be the most efficient way to solve the problem quickly.

 

The group’s Facebook application just launched here; it currently has 19 "fans." Facebook, which has 65 million users, also ranked near the top of a new report listing which companies collect the most data on consumers. Accoring to comScore, a research firm, Facebook collects data on each user an average of 525 times per month. Yahoo collected data the most often, at 2,520 a month, followed by MySpace, AOL, Google and then Facebook.

As users upload private and medical information, of course, these companies have an even greater duty to protect privacy and proactively disclose how they collect, use and monetize that information.

Photo Credit from The Library of Congress: "Two Navy wives, Eva Herzberg and Elve Burnham, assemble bands for blood transfusion bottles at Baxter Laboratories in 1942."

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read. It’s just one of many examples of incisive, deeply-reported journalism we publish—journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media. For nearly 160 years, The Nation has spoken truth to power and shone a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug.

In a critical election year as well as a time of media austerity, independent journalism needs your continued support. The best way to do this is with a recurring donation. This month, we are asking readers like you who value truth and democracy to step up and support The Nation with a monthly contribution. We call these monthly donors Sustainers, a small but mighty group of supporters who ensure our team of writers, editors, and fact-checkers have the resources they need to report on breaking news, investigative feature stories that often take weeks or months to report, and much more.

There’s a lot to talk about in the coming months, from the presidential election and Supreme Court battles to the fight for bodily autonomy. We’ll cover all these issues and more, but this is only made possible with support from sustaining donors. Donate today—any amount you can spare each month is appreciated, even just the price of a cup of coffee.

The Nation does not bow to the interests of a corporate owner or advertisers—we answer only to readers like you who make our work possible. Set up a recurring donation today and ensure we can continue to hold the powerful accountable.

Thank you for your generosity.

Ad Policy
x