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Explanation of for-profit "conversion" issues
Posted October 27th, 2011 - 3:46 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
The issues with the "conversion" of CouchSurfing to a for-profit corporation are many and complex. I keep getting asked what the problem is, often accompanied by the remark "But for me, nothing has changed".

Here is an attempt to explain in a simplified and hopefully easily understandable way what to the best of my knowledge happened, with a summary of the issues at the end:

CouchSurfing was founded as a non-profit organization in the U.S. state of New Hampshire in 2003.

Under repeated assurances by CS management that CS would always remain non-profit, volunteers, dedicated members and donors helped build and rebuild CS after Casey Fenton accidentally deleted the database in 2006, gave up and walked away.

In 2010, CS was notified by the U.S. tax authorities that it would be denied the 501c3 charity status for which it had applied because the way in which CS operated was viewed as social rather than charitable in nature (and for a number of other reasons).

At that stage, CS had to change its status. It could have chosen another non-profit type, such as 501c7 for the social and recreational organization which the IRS said it was, or go for-profit. Although CS had always pledged to remain non-profit, it decided to break that pledge and go for-profit.

To prepare this “conversion”, the chairman of CouchSurfing, Dan Hoffer, had already been working at the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital months before the IRS denial was officially notified.

The bylaws of CS and the law stipulate that upon dissolution the assets of the non-profit organization had to be distributed to a charity or to the government.

CouchSurfing petitioned a New Hampshire court for authorization to buy the assets itself, telling the court that nobody else could receive the assets and that there were no interested parties to be notified of the plan to sell CouchSurfing. At the same, time CouchSurfing volunteers were told only that changes were coming, but not that CouchSurfing would be sold. Members and donors were told nothing. This lack of information deprived these stakeholders of their legal right to oppose the petition.

Based on a valuation commissioned and paid for by CouchSurfing, the non-profit assets were valued at only about $600,000, less than 1/3 of annual revenue.

The founders of CouchSurfing set up a new company under the name “Better World for Travel Inc.” (BWTT) in Delaware (a famous tax haven) which bought the CouchSurfing assets for a fraction of the actual value.

The proceeds of the sale went to a New Hampshire grant fund rather than to the CouchSurfing community which had created the assets in large parts.

The majority shareholders of BWTT, Casey Fenton and Dan Hoffer, issued shares to themselves and sold a minority share of the supposed $600,000 assets for $7,600,000 to two capital venture firms, Benchmark Capital and Omidyar Network. This puts the value of Casey Fenton’s and Dan Hoffer’s share at more than $7,600,000, most likely at more than $15 million.

Initially they announced that CouchSurfing had been converted to a Benefit Corporation, which was then corrected to “B-Corporation”. The right to carry the "B-Corp" label was obtained by submitting false information about the dissolved non-profit organization to B-Lab, the organization which hands out the label for a fee, and by using that label for the just created profit corporation under the false name “CouchSurfing International” (the real name being “Better World Through Travel Inc.”).

CouchSurfing has been misrepresenting the nature of the business as “half-way between a non-profit and a for-profit” when in fact the legal form is a conventional for-profit C-Corporation (like Coca Cola or Microsoft). The future of CouchSurfing is now uncertain because it will have to go public in the not too distant future in order to repay the venture capital with a profit and to allow employees to exercise their stock options. Nobody knows who will then be the new shareholders and what their plans for CouchSurfing will be.

So, in summary, there are serious issues with the dishonest way in which CS, against repeated assurances that this could and would never happen, has been secretly privatized for the personal enrichment of a few when other alternatives existed, with how this has been justified, with the impact this has on the CouchSurfing community which in large part built what is now being taken away from it, and with how the nature of the new owner of the website and of our data has been misrepresented as a kind of non-profit when legally it is nothing but a conventional profit corporation illegitimately parading a B-lab label.

The moral issues with the above should be obvious. The legal issues are currently being investigated. The first consequence of this investigation is expected to be the withdrawal of the B-Corp certification. Other consequences could include the criminal prosecution of key actors in the above "conversion", its reversal, or the withdrawal of the investors.

Posted October 27th, 2011 - 6:55 pm from Bolzano, Italy
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Posted October 27th, 2011 - 8:12 pm by from Augsburg, Germany (Permalink)
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Posted October 28th, 2011 - 9:18 am by from Pescara, Italy (Permalink)
Thanks for sharing this summary.

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Posted October 28th, 2011 - 1:13 pm by from Dublin, Ireland (Republic of) (Permalink)
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Posted October 28th, 2011 - 1:51 pm from Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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Posted October 29th, 2011 - 11:00 am from Paris, France
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Posted October 29th, 2011 - 5:37 pm from Barcelona, Spain
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Posted November 12th, 2011 - 2:30 pm by from Moscow, Russia (Permalink)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couchsurfing Probably this kind of info should be posted there too? I'd do it but my english if far from perfect and i kind of lack proper references that wiki requires.

Posted October 30th, 2011 - 8:07 pm by from Bucharest, Romania (Permalink)
Yes, this is the sum-up I was waiting for, thanks for sharing!

I have just decided to terminate with my cs and fb account, as soon as I find a way for all my friends to be informed and moved to another platform... As long I can still do smth from the inside, I shall keep this account also though.

Hoping for better...
Anca

Posted October 30th, 2011 - 8:23 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
This is a great summary Uli, thanks
I have "fixed" my CS profile as well.

Looks like the momentum of people being aware is changing very quickly with the number of new people joining this group.
Evidently it looks like less people are joining now ?



I looked quickly at the "couchsurinf" search term. The battle is in europe it's really the "core" of couchsurfing around the world.
If europeans are aware of all of this (which is not so easy because of the language barrier... you would be surprised to see how many people in france hardly speak english) the dynamics against CS could change very quickly...

Posted November 12th, 2011 - 2:32 pm by from Moscow, Russia (Permalink)
may u translate it, then?

Posted November 1st, 2011 - 12:28 am from Gent, Belgium
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Posted November 2nd, 2011 - 10:07 am by from Barra de Valizas, Uruguay (Permalink)
gracias uli!
brilliant. and so sad...

Posted November 2nd, 2011 - 4:54 pm from Kolkata, India
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Posted November 2nd, 2011 - 9:14 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Thanks everyone. I'd love to translate the summary similarly to what we did with the FAQ on CouchWiki.

Here's a French translation. Can someone please put it on CouchWiki, with the FAQ, with the English original?

Who else wants to do other translations, and ideally put them directly on the CouchWiki where they can be edited and improved so that we don't end up with lots of unfinished versions here? Some of the legal and technical terms can be a bit tricky and we should get them right. For instance "non profit organization" (which CS was) must be differentiated from "charity" (which was denied by the IRS).


FRANCAIS

CouchSurfing a été fondé comme organisme à but non lucratif dans l'État américain du New Hampshire en 2003.

Sous les assurances répétées par la direction de CS que CS restera toujours un organisme à but non lucratif, bénévoles, membres dévoués et donateurs ont aidé à construire et reconstruire CS, après que Casey Fenton avait accidentellement effacé la base de données en 2006, renoncé et était parti.

En 2010, CS s'est vu notifier le refus par les autorités fiscales U. S. du statut d'organisme caritatif "501c3 "que CS avait demandé parce que la façon d'opérer de CS était considérée comme sociale plutôt que caritative/bienfaisante (et pour un certain nombre d'autres raisons) .

A ce stade, CS devait changer de statut. CS aurait pu choisir un autre type d'organisme à but non-lucratif, par exemple le "501c7" pour l'organisme "social et de loisirs" que l'IRS avait dit que CS était, ou se "transformer" en société à but lucratif. Bien que CS avait toujours promis de rester à but non lucratif, CS a décidé de ne pas honorer cette promesse et de se "transformer" en société à but lucratif.

Pour préparer cette «transformation», le président de CouchSurfing, Daniel Hoffer, avait déjà travaillé dans la société de capital-risque Benchmark Capital plusieurs mois avant que CS ne se voit notifier officiellement le refus de l'IRS.

Les statuts de CS et la loi stipulent que lors de la dissolution les actifs de l'organisme à but non lucratif devaient être distribués à un organisme de bienfaisance ou au gouvernement.

Mais CouchSurfing a demandé à un tribunal du New Hampshire l'autorisation d'acheter lui-même les actifs, a dit à la cour que personne d'autre ne pouvait recevoir les actifs et que personne d'autre n'était concerné et devait être informé de l'intention de vendre CouchSurfing. En même temps, les bénévoles de CouchSurfing étaient informés seulement que des changements étaient à venir, mais pas que CouchSurfing allait être vendu. Les membres et les donateurs n'ont pas été prevenu du tout. Ce manque d'information les a privés de leur droit légal de s'opposer à la pétition.

Basé sur une évaluation commandée et payée par CouchSurfing, les actifs de l'organisation à but non lucratif ont été évaluées à seulement environ $ 600.000, soit moins de 1/3 du revenu annuel.

Les fondateurs de CouchSurfing ont créé une nouvelle société sous le nom de "Better World Through Travel, Inc." (BWTT) dans le Delaware (un célèbre paradis fiscal), qui a racheté les actifs pour une fraction de la valeur réelle de CouchSurfing.

Le produit de la vente est allé à un fonds de subventions du New Hampshire plutôt qu'à la communauté CouchSurfing qui avait créé CouchSurfing en grande partie.

Les actionnaires majoritaires de BWTT, Casey Fenton et Dan Hoffer, ont émis des actions en leur faveur et ont vendu une part minoritaire des actifs supposés valoir 600,000 dollars pour 7,6 millions de dollars à deux sociétés de capital-risque, Benchmark Capital et Omidyar Network. Cela met la valeur de la part de Casey Fenton et de Dan Hoffer à plus de 7.600.000 dollars, et probablement à plus de 15 millions de dollars.

Initialement ils avaient annoncé qu'ils avaient transformé CouchSurfing en une "Benefit Corporation", ce qui a ensuite été corrigé en "B-Corporation». Le droit de porter le label «B-Corp" a été obtenu en soumettant à B-Lab, l'organisme qui délivre le label contre paiement, de fausses informations sur l'organisme à but non lucratif dissout et en utilisant ce label sous le faux nom "CouchSurfing International" pour la société nouvellement créée (le vrai nom étant "Better World Through Tavel, Inc.").

CouchSurfing induit en erreur sur la nature de l'entreprise la présentant comme étant «à mi-chemin entre un organisme sans but lucratif et une société à but lucratif» quand en fait sa forme juridique est une société à but lucratif classique du type C-Corporation, (comme Coca Cola ou Microsoft). L'avenir est désormais incertain parce que CouchSurfing va devoir entrer en bourse dans un avenir pas trop lointain, afin de rembourser le capital risque avec bénéfice et pour permettre aux employés d'exercer leurs stock-options. Personne ne sait qui seront les nouveaux actionnaires et quels seront leurs plans pour CouchSurfing.

Donc, en résumé, il ya de graves problèmes avec la façon malhonnête dont CS, contre les assurances répétées que cela ne pouvait et n'allait jamais arriver, a été secrètement privatisé pour l'enrichissement personnel de quelques-uns quand d'autres alternatives existaient, avec la façon dont cela a été justifié, avec l'impact que cela a sur la communauté CouchSurfing qui avait créé en grande partie ce qui maintenant lui a été volé, et avec la manière dont le nouveau propriétaire du site et de nos données a été présentée à tort comme une sorte d'organisme à but non-lucratif quand légalement il n'est rien d'autre qu'une société à but lucratif conventionnelle qui parade illégitimement un label B-Lab.

Les questions d'ordre moral avec ce qui précède devrait être évidentes. Les questions juridiques sont actuellement à l'étude. La première conséquence de cette enquête devrait être le retrait de la certification B-Corp. D'autres conséquences pourraient inclure la poursuite pénale des acteurs clés dans cette "conversion", son annulation, ou le retrait des investisseurs.

Posted November 3rd, 2011 - 12:02 pm from Mainz, Germany
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Posted November 3rd, 2011 - 10:25 pm from Baiona, Spain
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Posted November 4th, 2011 - 11:30 am from Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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Posted November 8th, 2011 - 12:41 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
The English, French and Spanish versions are now on CouchWiki. You can link directly to the most appropriate versions in your local groups:

http://couchwiki.org/en/CouchSurfing_conversion_issues


French (http://couchwiki.org/en/CouchSurfing_conversion_issues#Fran.C3.A7ais)

Spanish (http://couchwiki.org/en/CouchSurfing_conversion_issues#Espa.C3.B1ol)

Big thanks to Maria for the Spanish translation.

If anyone wants to translate into additional languages, please do so directly on CouchWiki in edit mode, by appending a new section as ==name of additional language== at the end of existing text followed by the translation.

Posted November 8th, 2011 - 10:15 pm from Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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Posted November 12th, 2011 - 2:33 pm by from Moscow, Russia (Permalink)
hey, why not wikipedia too? thats kind of part of real cs story

Posted December 2nd, 2011 - 12:04 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
There's also an Italian version now. Big thanks to the translator:

http://couchwiki.org/en/CouchSurfing_conversion_issues#Italiano

Posted December 17th, 2011 - 11:24 am by from Monsummano Terme, Italy (Permalink)
Thank Polyglot... (e grazie al traduttore ;) )
all these information make me sad :(

Now the link at the italian translation is listed as well on the italian Wiki page about CS ...probably to be enriched... =/

Posted December 17th, 2011 - 12:45 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Grazie Davide. Another link you can add to the Italian Wikipedia is

http://www.repubblica.it/tecnologia/2011/09/01/news/couchsurfing_protesta-21047647/

Posted November 12th, 2011 - 11:07 pm by from Michigan City, United States (Permalink)
Gee, I wish I had known this before I joined, it sounds really fishy. Does anyone have the data base backed up in case it explodes and we have to start from scratch?

Posted November 19th, 2011 - 6:40 pm from Imperial Beach, United States
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Posted November 20th, 2011 - 9:22 am from Imperial Beach, United States
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Posted November 23rd, 2011 - 7:13 pm from Brussels, Belgium
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Posted January 1st, 2012 - 10:44 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted January 9th, 2012 - 5:22 am by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
I really dont get why this is such a big deal. Couch surfing hasnt changed at all. There is no difference between a non-profit and a for-profit corporation other than taxation reasons. Saying that its ethically different is just a false argument based on the idealisms of what you think a non-profit is. Its just how the government recognizes the company legally.

A non-profit corporation is still making money off of you the same way a for profit corporation is.

Posted January 9th, 2012 - 5:57 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Robert Bronte: "I really dont get why this is such a big deal."

If you say that having read the original post I really don't know how to help you here. Thanks for joining this group as the 3084th member in any case, and Happy Surfing!

Posted January 9th, 2012 - 3:07 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
"A non-profit corporation is still making money off of you the same way a for profit corporation is."

Is Amnesty International "making money off of people"?

Is Feed the Children "making money off of people"?

Is the American Cancer Society "making money off of people"?

Is Greenpeace "making money off of people"?

Is Habitat for Humanity "making money off of people"?

Is their ONLY legal purpose to make profit for investors?

Posted January 9th, 2012 - 3:24 pm from Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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Posted January 9th, 2012 - 6:22 pm from Guipry, France
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Posted January 9th, 2012 - 11:00 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
A lot of this is just misinformation spread by polyglot.

If you really don't like what CS has done then stop using it.

Posted January 9th, 2012 - 11:55 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
"A lot of this is just misinformation spread by polyglot."

Robert Bronte, please show us one piece of misinformation from Polyglot that can compare with your misstatement that nonprofits and for-profits are the same thing.

Or simply one piece of misinformation from Polyglot that he hasn't acknowledged as being mistaken, in the very rare cases where that happens.

David

Posted January 10th, 2012 - 8:08 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Yes Robert, please identify the misinformation which you perceive. Or is this another problem you prefer to run away from?

Posted January 10th, 2012 - 11:50 am from Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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Posted January 11th, 2012 - 5:15 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
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Posted January 11th, 2012 - 5:41 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Robert Bronte: "Its ridiculous that people on couch surfing who have no idea how American businesses are run are protesting its use."

What IS ridiculous, Robert Bronte, are the statements people like you make based on their tax class (when it isn't their Italian cousins or French grandmother) with a crying lack of own experience, knowledge and ability to read and understand...

I do agree, though, that Benchmark Capital made a mistake which it may well come to regret.

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 5:56 pm from Barcelona, Spain
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Posted January 11th, 2012 - 6:10 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Hardcore capitalism often works best when someone gets screwed. In the case of CouchSurfing, that would be idealistic hosts and volunteers.

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 6:28 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
@Miqueu-- "exactly, as a capitalist, I consider CS should give me a share everytime I host someone"

Thats not capitalism, thats communism. Everyone getting their fair share?


POLYGLOT: I found this reference of you to be enlightening:

"From online interaction (mainly in the Brainstorm groups) I got this PERSONAL IMPRESSION:
His consistent moves to make himself look/feel important, by presumptuously acting like the CS conscience and/or fighter for all CS'ers (e.g. to increase safety for all...) are just irritating - the fact that he's very often wrong & even downright stupid about his "arguments" (& yet so ignorant in his hubris) make him look a very pathetic man. He also tops my "Lies" threads in BS - though I'm unsure, whether he is deliberately lying or just unable to understand the difference between his & real truth (e.g. his Anti Verification Campaign!). He likes telling off others for not being as "good a CS'er" (!) as himself (...), polite or PC (and to be role model poster himself) - but in CS mails to me (which I'm not allowed to quote from) he showed his real face saying stuff he'd reprimand everybody else for."

It is quite spot on. POLYGLOT, im sorry that you are so blinded by anger that you wont listen to anyone who does not share your opinion. I feel bad for you. I also feel bad for myself for wasting time arguing with someone who is soo angry and vindictive. If I were you, I would lay off the couchsurfing. It has obviously become a strong negative presence in your life which you feel the need to cling onto and condemn. Good luck.

I hope that others can see that there are always two sides of the story and that Casey Fenton isnt the anti-christ. I am thankful that he has created couch surfing that im glad that he was able to make some money off of it. I sympathize with him much more than Mike Zuckerberg. Hopefully this new capital interest will improve couchsurfing by making it more usable and interconnected.



Posted January 11th, 2012 - 6:33 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
By the way, I am leaving this group because I do not believe in its cause.

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 6:39 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Robert,
I have met Polyglot in real life he is a vey modest man despite some of his credentials.

May I suggest that after leaving this group you complete your tax courses with some ethic courses ?
Don't come back to us pretending you have the answers afterwards because humans have been trying to find what is good or bad since their beginings.
We believe CS becoming a "for-profit" corporation is not GOOD and this is why we are on in this group... read the title.

From a personal point of view I don't think most of us are in any way "angry'... I am delighted to have more time for myself actually !

With love from Paris

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Posted January 11th, 2012 - 7:01 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
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Posted January 11th, 2012 - 7:07 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
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Posted January 11th, 2012 - 7:11 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Robert Bronte: "I found this reference of you to be enlightening"

"By the way, I am leaving this group because I do not believe in its cause."

Robert Bronte, I see that contrary to your announcement you are still here. Thanks for proving my point so nicely. If I wasn't opposed to writing references for people one has never met, like the one you quoted from CouchSurfing's most infamous former troll in a futile attempt to bully a number of people he disagreed with hoping to silence them and who got kicked out of the ambassador team, and if I was half as angry as you seem to assume, I would consider writing a nice negative reference for your violation of the terms of use of CouchSurfing right now. All the best to you.

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 7:24 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
Why, because I disagree with you or because I suggested that you stop using couch surfing?

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 7:31 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=45507&post=10527276#post11073474

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 7:21 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
"I know A LOT about business ethics. I have taken a business ethics class. I have also taken an natural resource economics class and I wrote my thesis on the disfunction of the world bank and IMF austerity plans. I have graduated already so the tax class is done.."

Impressive. So you have zero experience. (That's not your fault.)

And you think that the difference between a nonprofit and a for-profit is covered in a TAX class!!! ;-)) That's like thinking the only difference between a rain coat and a pair of pants is the buttons.

Polyglot was a quite successful corporate businessman - both in the US and Europe. Other people here - including myself - have worked extensively in the nonprofit and business sectors both in the US and elsewhere.

When asked to explain what false statements anyone has made, you go silent.

You quote one of CS's most notorious A-holes, who gives out negative references without even meeting people, and who Fenton pushed out of CS volunteer responsibilities, to echo his false accusations about Polyglot. Ask Fenton what he thinks about the guy you quoted.

Try to inform yourself before making false statements and unsupported accusations.

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Posted January 11th, 2012 - 8:14 pm by from New York, United States (Permalink)
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Posted January 11th, 2012 - 8:35 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
"Robert actually does know A LOT about business ethics and nonprofits. I know because I took these two classes with him and his family is strongly involved in the finance world. He is probably the most FAIR and ETHICAL friend I have. For GODS SAKE, he graduated cum laude in a class of 10,000 students at the #1 public university in America. He knows his stuff."

UC Berkeley is a nice school. I enjoyed teaching there. But Robert's ignorance is more than obvious when he claims the only difference between a nonprofit and a for-profit is learned in a TAX class.

Then he posts an article from a student newspaper which was filed with absolutely false data about nonprofits. The newspaper was forced to formally apologize and print a retraction, and correct some of the false data. And THIS is Robert's best source? To prove what? He doesn't even tell us.

He has repeatedly accused others of making false statements IN GENERAL, but has never identified a single error in Polyglot's posts. That is not the methodology I taught at UC Berkeley.

I'm sure Robert is a sweet guy. I'm sure he appreciates CS. I'm sure he learned something in school. Now he just needs to put critical thinking into practice in a real world situation.

David

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 8:49 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Hi Michael. Welcome and thanks for the great laugh. I see you joined after CS turned for-profit. So your perspective may be different. It seems you are trying to replace life experience and demonstrated values with college classes. If you need to take classes to know what is right or wrong, something went terribly wrong in your upbringing.

Now, since your most ethical friend Robert's not saying, instead of stating "it really does seem hyped up and too personal", could you please point out concretely what information contained in the original post is incorrect, and why? It's not because what Casey Fenton and Daniel Hoffer did is outrageous and hard to believe for someone with values that it cannot have happened.

"Dont you French people have anything better to do? I know you only work max 5 hours a day, but honestly, picking fights with people probably 1/3 your age is just sad."

Good to see you are well informed, open-minded and not prejudiced. Most people who have posted in this thread recently aren't French, while two snot-noses registered in NYC have proven to fall for some of the worst stereotypes. It's always a good idea to read profiles before making assumptions.

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 8:09 pm by from Gliwice, Poland (Permalink)
@ BRONTE325: I tried to refrain from posting a not-constructive-post but after your last words I couldn't do anymore.

Herewith I'm joining the gauntlet to smash your kiddish attitude to the a/m issues.

first: You seem not to understand arguments polyglote has stated as a OP of the thread. The belows quotation of Ur words prove it.

"If you really don't like what CS has done then stop using it."


I hope your binary outlook on the surrounding will gradually dissipate while getting older

gosh... "take it or leave it"..so all-american.


I have neither deleted my C$ account, but I'm taking small actions trying to convince as many ppl as possible to move to another networks which are less likely to change their
Raison d'être by the way thus causing their members (not users) to feel deceived and bereft of all they invested into the community well-being.

yeah... "You' ve done ur jobs guys, we ve got all we needed from U so .. now U r free to go" attitude.

Do U want to tell me that U consider U may change the initial conditions and expect everything to still be honky-dorny?

Take more of the ethic lessons...

I hope U won't take my words as an umbrage, I'm pretty forthright.

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 8:21 pm by from New York, United States (Permalink)
This is soo stupid. Trying to make some huge cultish movement against couch surfing with hints of anti-americanism littered in your speech.

How is "take it or leave it" all-american? You havent even been to America Rafal? how would you know?

Anyway, im done. I got a few good laughs off of this thread. Im going to put some better use to my time than wasting away on this useless group.

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 8:59 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Michael,

Being fair is not taking ONE reference on someone's profil and drawing conclusions... this is called "confirmation bias".

I had been reading the posts for a while without much intervention but thought it was not fair to attack Polyglot on a personal level.

Did not you wonder why some us make a fair use of the english language ?
Maybe some of us have actually lived in north america or even hold several citizenships...

Posted January 11th, 2012 - 9:00 pm by from Gliwice, Poland (Permalink)
Gosh.. I see I didnt put the question mark after the sentence with "all american".

It might have been taken for some kind of antiamericanizm which i'm faaaar from... eh... those simple generalization boxes

I meant no harm but the question was supossed to vex BRONTE325 a bit.

I Just dont like the binary outlook which is (IMHO) more connected to age than nationality.

Will U refer to any other argument/part of my post?

btw. the fact U joined after the cS-> C$ conversion puts your words in a funny background

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Posted January 12th, 2012 - 2:47 am by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
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Posted January 12th, 2012 - 3:02 am by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
I stated:
"But Robert's ignorance is more than obvious when he claims the
only difference between a nonprofit and a for-profit is learned in a TAX
class."

Robert replied:
"I never said that was the ONLY difference."

Here is what Robert said in this thread, which I was responding to:
"There is no difference between a non-profit and a for-profit corporation other than taxation reasons."

I'll let other determine what that says about Robert's credibility.

Posted January 12th, 2012 - 5:18 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
"I'll let other determine what that says about Robert's credibility."

To me it suggests that Robert Bronte not only doesn't understand what others write, but also what he writes himself.

So Robert, would you kindly explain and back up your accusations that "A lot of this is just misinformation spread by polyglot.", and if you can't, shut up?

Also, don't forget to bump your other thread again to demonstrate your maturity. Or ask your buddy Michael to give you a hand again, to make it look less pathetic.

Posted January 12th, 2012 - 8:38 am from Warsaw, Poland
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Posted January 12th, 2012 - 11:49 am from Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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Posted January 16th, 2012 - 5:50 pm by from Warsaw, Poland (Permalink)
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Posted January 18th, 2012 - 8:09 pm from Guipry, France
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Posted July 24th, 2012 - 4:50 am from Woollahra, Australia
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Posted July 24th, 2012 - 8:10 am by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
"I understand your point of view (and I abhor the dishonest actions of
the principals in the CS conversion to B-Corp), but technically,
non-profits *do* "make money"."


"Don't confuse "profit" and "making money" (revenue). They are separate and distinct classifications."

Don't confuse "making money" with "revenue". ;-))

Some businesses "make money", some "lose money". But even if a business loses money, it usually has revenue.

I don't think anyone doubted non-profits use financial resources.

But more important, don't confuse CS with a B-Corp.

CS has only one legal status. It is a ***C Corporation*** incorporated in the tax haven of Delaware. Under US law, a C Corporation is legally obliged to "maximize profit", and can not legally favor social consciousness - for example environmental considerations or worker conditions - over pure profit motive. The jurisprudence is well established, with famous cases reaching the Supreme Court.

The state where CS has its offices, California, has a B-Corp legal status, called Benefit Corporation.
As summarized by the Los Angeles Times, this category "allows corporations to officially adopt policies 'that create a material positive impact on society and the environment'
as part of their legal charter. It also redefines the fiduciary duty of
executives and board members to look out for the interests of workers,
the community and the environment in addition to meeting their duty to
make a profit for shareholders." "The law provides corporate
officers with a legal "safe haven" from being successfully sued by
shareholders who contend that company's environmental or social policies
diluted the value of their stock."


CS does NOT have this status and has told investors it will NOT pursue it. CS is a simple for-profit corporation, legally obliged to maximize profits. It can NOT legally defend doing the things mentioned in the above paragraphs.

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Posted October 3rd, 2012 - 2:50 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
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Posted February 23rd, 2013 - 12:12 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
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Posted January 30th, 2012 - 8:12 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
and up

Posted January 30th, 2012 - 2:51 pm from Cadiz, Spain
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Posted January 30th, 2012 - 2:55 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Thanks, please best use this direct link to the latest version currently translated into 5 languages:

http://couchwiki.org/en/CouchSurfing_conversion_issues

Posted January 30th, 2012 - 3:08 pm from Cadiz, Spain
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Posted January 30th, 2012 - 3:15 pm by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
"please best use this direct link to the latest version currently translated into 5 languages:

http://couchwiki.org/en/CouchSurfing_conversion_issues

I've just posted this to my local groups. (I posted the entire French text and the link to the others.) Hopefully many others will do the same.

Posted April 6th, 2012 - 8:27 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Thanks. Most members still could not imagine in their wildest dreams that this is what CS is now about.

Posted July 18th, 2012 - 10:48 am from Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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Posted May 1st, 2013 - 7:50 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
up

Posted May 9th, 2013 - 10:00 am by from San Diego, United States (Permalink)
This is great. Thanks for clearing all this up for me so well.