Location: The Couchsurfing Project >> We are upset that CS has become a for-profit corporation
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What to do, and not to do. Let’s get productive!!
Posted September 14th, 2012 - 3:56 pm by from Cuernavaca, Mexico (Permalink)
Hello friends.

I want to begin by saying, I’m just as upset by all of the changes in couch surfing as all of the members of this group seems to be. I was brought here by a post on the Minneapolis (my hometown’s) group.

http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=5214&post=13176005

If you read this thread, I think there’s an important message here, particularly in the posts towards the bottom. You should all be able to realize one important thing: We’re fucking arrogant (you knew that) and don’t want to be told to “wake up.”

I’m going to quote a message:

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Thanks for insulting our country, sounds like a great way to get people to support your "cause".

It sounds like it comes down to "personal information". What do they know about me? That I like to travel, have fun, and I live in Eagan? They have the rights to the 25 crappy, cliche pictures that I uploaded that are the same as anyone else's pictures who have been the places I've been? Wow, I feel so violated. It's a private website and there are many others just like it. If you don't like it, make a competing website. The world would be a better place if people who complained about CouchSurfing spent that energy on actual issues. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go look at profiles full of private information to find a host in Dallas.

end quote
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The US is full of huge issues right now, and telling us we’re blind to something that plays a relatively small part in our lives (as opposed to a presidential election, gun violence, marriage amendments, exceedingly egregious acts of corporate greed apparent in our banking and trade…) isn’t going to help the cause. I care for this cause, and it is important to me. That’s why I’m here. I hope any pleas to the US will be done a little differently. I have noticed another US member here with a similar complaint, so I feel safe assuming Minneapolis is not alone in seeing a similar post.

We should be appealing to logic and reason. This isn’t another issue that requires debate appealing to visceral fear and insecurities. Such attacks are belittling. Darryl posts a pretty important point about corporate status in his message on the Minneapolis thread.

So…

I guess all of this is to say, I think things can be done a little more constructively.

ONE:

Martha B. posted in another thread:

So what can a (US) person really do?

1) Get in contact with your authorities (FTC) and file a complaint.
Check the "How to do" here: http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=45507&post=13155452#post13155786
2) Get in contact with interest groups like EPIC and Electronic Frontier Foundation and ask them for legal advice and public support.
3) Raise awareness within your local community.

That should be spread as much as possible.


TWO:
I think we should be talking with administration as much as possible, and trying to clarify what is going on, what said data will be used for, etc. I agree with many others, saying that US citizens will have more influence. I’d be willing to make a phone call, as I’m sure many other US citizens would, if we could find a number to voice a complaint. I will be writing a letter shortly, but I just want to get this post out in the open first.

I’m very new to this discussion, so maybe this has been well discussed already, if so… sorry.

THREE:
I think posting in major cities groups is an excellent way to reach many, many people. We should continue with this as much as possible. I also really want to stress the cultural sensitivity thing. Any right minded US citizen has a laundry list of issues they are appalled by in this country. As much as I care about this particular cause, it is still relatively low on my list. Please respect the fact that some of us think there’s little to be done to protect the data we put online.


Finally... It was mentioned in another thread that there was a “poorly written” english language petition.

I hereby offer my services in proof-reading and drafting any petitions or english language writing(s) to be posted in support of this cause, if the person feels the need for either of those services. Feel free to forward ANYTHING to my inbox, I will gladly give input.


I wish I had more time to work on this post, but I'm a full time student and have a full time job. Sorry if this seems hasty or out of context. I welcome any criticism of what I've said or, more importantly, advice on how to work more effectively for this cause. I will be reading this forum in more detail later on today. I will also attempt to write a draft to be posted to US city groups which uses lots of buzz words like conformist, worker bee, liberty, freedom, and possibly throw terrorism in there for good measure. (kidding)

Thank you, fellow couchsurfers and citizens of earth, for all of your dedication and caring. I look forward to making change together. One couch, translated petition, and hasty rant at a time. This site is made to promote unity, not petty discourse.

-Dustin

Posted September 14th, 2012 - 4:12 pm by from Cuernavaca, Mexico (Permalink)
Also, there was a mention somewhere of contacting US media.

Mainstream media doesn't give a fuck about this, really, they dont. And if they took up the issue, I can all but guarantee they will not be on our side. However...

http://www.adbusters.org/
http://vice.com/

Both of these alternative media outlets would probably give the issue some attention.

I will contact them when I have time and something reasonable to say, everyone else should feel welcome to do the same.

Posted September 14th, 2012 - 8:51 pm from Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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Posted September 15th, 2012 - 2:08 pm from Cologne, Germany
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