Location: The Couchsurfing Project >> We are upset that CS has become a for-profit corporation
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Here's An Idea, Lets All Change Our Profile's to Protest CS being for-profit
Posted April 22nd, 2013 - 10:29 pm by from San Diego, United States (Permalink)
I just changed my profile so that the description begins like this:

"I encourage everyone to join this group, protesting the fact that CS has changed into a for-profit corporation: http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=45507I also encourage you to sign the petition and to cut and paste this information onto your profile, so we can spread the word about these changes."

What do you think? If we all did this, maybe it would help get some attention. Thoughts?

Posted April 30th, 2013 - 8:11 pm from Strasbourg, France
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Posted April 30th, 2013 - 10:59 pm by from Wilmington, United States (Permalink)
Better late than never. I think that it is always good when some more people will wake up. So, BeWelcome in the club.

Posted April 30th, 2013 - 11:11 pm by from San Diego, United States (Permalink)
I think you just made a snarky, sarcastic comment, to a guy who is actually on your side.


So, at least, do you feel better now?

Posted May 3rd, 2013 - 9:28 pm by from Melaka, Malaysia (Permalink)

Actions like yours are to be encouraged.
Just be aware that CS is taking action against such initiatives. In my case they deleted all my references.
(As in really deleted from the database, not simply flagged as inappropriate hence hidden)


Posted May 4th, 2013 - 1:40 pm by from San Diego, United States (Permalink)
Holy Shit. Wow. Thanks for telling me that. That is good to know. This is so sad. Couchsurf was a genuine inspiration to me. Discovering CS was a turning point in my life. How could things have gotten so fucked up that they are now deleting references just because we criticize their business plan? This is like some horrible nightmare.

Posted May 4th, 2013 - 1:42 pm by from San Diego, United States (Permalink)
But when I click on your profile I see over 200 references. They don't seem to be deleted. Maybe they put them back?

Posted May 4th, 2013 - 2:16 pm by from Melaka, Malaysia (Permalink)
Will: They deleted the references I left to others.
I did change the content of them, one by one, with a text that stated my discontent with the new management.
I also did contact each of the users previously to leet them know about the changes.
The Contact Us claims they received a complain (which I don´t believe) and thus removed all the references to avoid receiving more complains.
They didn´t pay attention to the fact that some members did respond positively to the updated reference.

Well, CS is not what it was anymore and I doubt it will ever be again.
That said, I do have my suspicions that it´s done on purpose. Time will tell.


Posted May 5th, 2013 - 2:05 am from Padova, Italy
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Posted May 5th, 2013 - 2:19 am by from Melaka, Malaysia (Permalink)

The fact that you fail to consider that removing all factual information from CS (which is its value) was the point kinda surprises me.
It was not my intention that my referenes would be any useful ANYMORE to "future CSers". Specially considering the kind of CSers out there nowadays, thanks to current CS policies.

The references made sense when CS was a site where that information made sense. From the very moment CS moved into what it is nowadays, such situation was not valid anymore.

Their ToU not "allowing me" to post such content is as bogus as them not allowing mentioning other websites.
Easy to close the loop when you are judge and jury.
Censorship is censorship, no matter how you want to cover it.

Also, DELETING references from the database (and being unable to restore them - HELLO BACKUPS!) is a clear indication of what´s the story behind all this.

And by the way, it´s not because something is written that it´s also OK.


Posted May 5th, 2013 - 3:39 pm from Padova, Italy
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Posted May 9th, 2013 - 9:34 am by from San Diego, United States (Permalink)
Jean, I think it was wrong for CS to take down what you wrote, that is censorship.

However, I always treat the references as sacred space. References should be about the person being referenced and nothing else. I wrote about the changes to CS in my profile, not in references that were on other people's profile. I don't think we should use the reference section for anything else. Not even talking about CS being sold. References are the bedrock that this community was originally built on.

If someone had written a reference about me that did not actualy mention me, and was devoted to some other issue on CS... I can see how that would bother me.

Posted May 6th, 2013 - 9:59 am by from Liege, Belgium (Permalink)
All this is superficial. I take more profit on CS than them on me. I will leave it when they will ask me to pay. That's all.

Be a light to yourself

Posted May 6th, 2013 - 10:18 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Perhaps if you had had a recorded Couchsurfing experience prior to the "conversion" you would feel more like most of us. Anyway it's interesting to see how different people join the "We are against CS becoming a for-profit corporation" group. Happy Surfing.

Posted May 6th, 2013 - 11:09 am by from Sevilla, Spain (Permalink)

On the surface you may think it's no big deal. But what's infuriating even from a business-oriented perspective is that CS was built and made to be what it is thanks to users, who did all they did voluntarily, never asking for money, quite the opposite in fact. Thinking that someone is going to cash in huge money on it is simply disgusting. It's like saying: go ahead, volunteer, work for free... one day we'll make money out of it.
Ployglot posted a very interesting article from a business magazine based on a interview of the head (?) and co-founder of CS, in which he admitted planning for the "conversion" into for-profit from the very beginning, unlike Fenton, the other founder. I'm just remembering, correct me if I'm not right?

So, yes there is more than just the day-to-day surfing and meeting experience, when you think of it.


PS: I still hope there's a chance we get it back to how it was before, otherwise I wouldn't be checking the forum out from time to time. Am I the only optimistic one?

Posted May 6th, 2013 - 11:44 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Hard to say who planned what when. All we know is that both Fenton and Hoffer had planned this for a long time. That trail of evidence is now out there in the public. Hoffer may have been the driving force, but nobody forced Fenton, who has since moved to a cosy Hawaiian Island, to become rich by attributing shares to himself through lying to the people who helped (re)build the website and the community.

I doubt Couchsurfing will ever again be something which resembles what it used to be. I haven't seen any indication that that is the way CS is headed. Sorry. The good news, however, is that something even more promising is available at BeWelcome.org.

Posted May 6th, 2013 - 2:21 pm from Paris, France
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Posted May 9th, 2013 - 9:37 am by from San Diego, United States (Permalink)
Well said. based on what I've learned, it looks like we've lost the battle for control of CS. CS is no longer a member-driven community. Its just a wanna-be copy of Facebook.

It's time to leave. I expect it will take a few years for us all to transition completely away to a new community, since there are a lot of members who are still here. But this is what happens on the internet. Once MySpace was huge, but gradually everyone left, after it was bought by the guy who owns Fox News. That is apparantly the best we can hope for for CS.

Sad, but it is what it is.

Posted May 9th, 2013 - 3:03 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
"CS is no longer a
member-driven community."

CS was never a member-driven community. Management only used members to grow the value of the assets they'd later steal. Members and volunteer never had much of a say. We were just good enough to do all of the work.

Posted May 9th, 2013 - 4:05 pm by from Cape Town, South Africa (Permalink)
Sounds like a sad day to me..

Posted May 9th, 2013 - 8:52 pm by from Sevilla, Spain (Permalink)
Hey Thibaud,

Are you sure that you take more profit?

do you know that they could, for example, take your picture and name and sell them to a porn site, for example, and add some nasty quotes as yours?

It's just a stupid example, the first that come to my mind (a dirty mind, it seems...)

How much do you valorate your privacity, your pictures, your information?

Take a look at the terms of use (to more active CSers: I just searched and it seems they changed the terms since I joined this group... more info? )

and even more important... is it your criteria? the benefits? how about hospitality? how about sharing some experience with people who is not taking any benefit from your visit; they honestly do it for you, to meet you and share their lifes with you for few days?

Your post show clearly the change on Couchsurfing.

Do not misunderstand me, you probably are a lovely person. It's just a pity that you have had no chance to discover by the original couchsurfing that there are lot of people out there willing to share their lifes with you.