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Supporting Ebola relief: Facebook's latest do-gooding effort

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook has been accused of subjecting its 1.2 billion users to all kinds of unsavory social engineering experiments. But sometimes, the media giant uses its powers for good. Starting today, a donation button will go live on the site where users can send money to one of three, hand-picked Ebola-relief charities.

The button will appear at the top of users' news feeds, according to the news website Re/code. Facebookers can give to the American Red Cross, the International Medical Corps, or Save the Children — and share news of their do-gooding, perhaps prompting others to donate.

Read: What you need to know about the Ebola epidemic

In October, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $25 million to support the Ebola response in West Africa.

The announcement about the donation came with news from charities that raising money for Ebola relief has been very difficult, and donations slow to trickle in.

"We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn't spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio," Zuckerberg wrote at the time of the donation.

This isn't the $200-billion company's first attempt to use its power for positive social change.

In 2012, Facebook began prompting users to donate their organs. In 2013, it asked them to give to the Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in the Philippines.

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