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Stanford Professor Uses Social Media to Promote Bone Marrow Donations

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bone marrow donor registration

Sonali Patwardhan, left, and Amrita Lokre register at a bone marrow donor drive held recently at a Hindu temple in Fremont, CA.

Credit: Adam Gorlick / Stanford University

Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker is leading One Hundred Thousand Cheeks, a campaign to encourage a sweeping search for bone marrow donors through social media. The campaign correlates with Aaker's belief that social media can be used as a vehicle for augmenting altruism and facilitating positive social change. The goal is to use social media to concentrate attention on a cause, such as finding potential marrow donors for leukemia patients, and spurring large numbers of people to participate.

"When you learn about something from your friends or people you trust through email or Facebook, it's much more persuasive than a message coming from a corporation or someone you don't know," Aaker says. "When a request comes from an area of deep personal meaning by someone you trust, you are more likely to take action."

One Thousand Cheeks' aim is to get 100,000 people signed up with a national bone marrow registry through cheek swab drives. "Our hope is to harness research on social persuasion, happiness, and emotional contagion to create infectious action," Aaker says.

From Stanford Report
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