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SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM PROMOTES POSITIVITY

4/14/2021, noon
Social media platforms can be great places to share experiences with like-minded individuals who want to get together to engage ...
Vrinda Johnson, co-founder of ChekMarc, the social media platform is available on iOS and Android, or at chekmarc.com. Photo provided by Lindsay Stevens
Social media platform promotes positivity 

BY TIA CAROL JONES
     Social media platforms can be great places to share experiences with like-minded individuals who want to get together to engage in meaningful discourse. On the flip side, they can also be a place where people encounter a lot of negativity and vitriol. One social media platform is looking to change that by offering an opportunity for people to share positive experiences in the social media sphere.
    ChekMarc, launched in late February, by co-founders Marc Kaplan and Vrinda Johnson, is a free social media platform geared towards people 18 and older. It is available in 35 languages via chekmarc.com or on the ChekMarc app on an android or iOS. It has secured $3 million in seed funding.
    “At a moment when so many people are wondering whether social media is still a worthwhile use of their time and effort, ChekMarc is ready to help elevate human connections that empower people to do good deeds, gain knowledge from each other, and drive positive change in the world,” Kaplan, CEO of ChekMarc, said in a release.
     Johnson, COO of ChekMarc, said digital communication is a beautiful thing and it gives people the ability to connect across the world, across barriers, but because of the negativity, people don’t connect in the same way using social media platforms anymore. Johnson said ChekMarc is a way to get back to the fundamentals of social media platforms and do good and help people, without worrying about retribution.
     People are able to use ChekMarc to connect with people to get advice on how to get started in their careers, how to start a business, or even how to improve leadership skills.
“What we’ve seen is that it’s just an overwhelmingly positive response, where people are able to go in and post all kinds of questions and are getting responses from folks whether they sit across from them or sit halfway across the world from them. And, these connections are happening in a private way,”  Johnson said.
     Users of ChekMarc verify their identities securely and use private one-on-one connections, both users have to agree to connect. ChekMarc doesn’t have likes, and it doesn’t sell users’ information.
     “What that does is that creates a certain level of trust between our members, to be able to share, the most difficult questions they want to ask and really get that one -on-one guidance they’re looking for,” Johnson said.
     Johnson said while there was a lot done to promote the one-on-one connection between users, ChekMarc is looking at the community aspect. An overhaul to create a community aspect is in the development phase. “We’ve been listening to our community, we’ve been listening to our members and on one hand, we’ve had folks that have been really excited about having a place like ChekMarc, we’ve also heard on the other hand that it would be great to now have a larger audience to interact with,” she said.
     Johnson said the responses to the social media platform have been extremely positive from users. Being able to connect with people from around the world, based on a simple concept. She said the privacy of the connection has also been something people responded to positively.
     “We don’t have likes, we don’t have shares, we don’t have follows. You can’t see people’s conversations and we moderate content. So, you can’t just say whatever you want to say while you’re in the heat of [a] conversation, which maintains that positivity on the site,” she said.
     Johnson said she and Kaplan built ChekMarc to connect people, to remove bias. “When you’re connecting with someone, you don’t know if it’s an 18-year old sitting in South Africa or an 80-year old sitting in New York. You just know you’re looking for help with something and this person has the expertise to help you,” she said. “It’s removing the bias, promoting the connection and maintaining that positive, very supportive environment.”