Location: The Couchsurfing Project >> We are upset that CS has become a for-profit corporation
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 3:57 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 4:29 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 4:38 pm by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
he deleted mine too...

i didn't do a backup though. but it was something like

"Current Mission: connect people all over the world... TO MAKE MONEY. In short, try to be the next Mark Zuckerberg"

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 4:42 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 4:42 pm by from Milano, Italy (Permalink)
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 4:45 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 5:08 pm by from London, England (Permalink)
But all this could be deleted as well, I'm sure...
I think the back-up has to be made outside.
Florence

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 5:36 pm from Lisboa, Portugal
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 5:50 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
Time for a domain change! shouldn't this be couchsurfing.com? here is my soon to be deleted negref!

"I feel indignant and deceived... I recently went to the CS warming to hear you announcing plans to hq CS in S.F. and talk about the origins of CS and all the hard work people did coding to see the project work.. all the non profit donations that went into developing the site. When all the while you were making plans to turn this into a for profit. Where's the accountability, the member notification, the transparency!!? C.S. belongs to the people, If I'm not a shareholder, then I want my non profit donation back, and money for all of the couch surfers I hosted, since this has become airbnb."

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 5:58 pm by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
well, I am also outraged, but Onika, I think your reference is very probable to be deleted cause your critics is very harsh..i understand that you are angry, but people, coming on Casey´s profile, should also be able to read it, right?

guys, once again the question: do you think we risk losing our profiles? should we maybe close the group because of this?

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 6:36 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 6:47 pm by from Milano, Italy (Permalink)
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 6:41 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
in america we have free speech if he wants to be a fascist despot and delete profiles, and references that are 100% true then good, I don't want to be a part of a system that changes their philosophy capriciously, and exclude all those who were only in this because of its utilitarian cause. At least I get emailed updates when facebook is going to try and screw me over. I knew that was going downhill when they let non college students join.. that's why i'm with Google plus now.

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 6:47 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 6:48 pm by from Bastia, France (Permalink)
Please don't go that far: nothing has been done yet. CS just changed name, and status, and everything; but there is no reason to speak of changing philosophy (mine and that of other CSers don't change), even less of flirting with the Godwin point.

This change makes me fear the worst, and AFAIK no profile has been deleted. Don't build up the worst scenarios before they happen. But still be prepared for it.

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 6:45 pm by from Bastia, France (Permalink)
Do not stop this group! It's our main way to be visible to Casey. He's probably not a bad guy, nor stupid either, he should be open to discussion, or so I hope.

And if they delete references or profiles the way facebook does, then we should create new ones. And not donate this time.

Here is my reference to Casey:
Casey, if you read this, know that I am not attacking you but only want explanations.
Why did you not ask couchsurfers?
Why did you accepted donations before turning them into corporate money? How much money is it? where do we see your corporate buget?
Who will take decisions now? How do you expect to make money? What will be done with it? What makes you think we would agree to your answers to those questions without you even giving that answer?
Who, or what made you take that turn?

And more important:
Do you think people who vouched for you would still want to if they were asked again?

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 7:03 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 7:09 pm by from Ravenna, Italy (Permalink)
Pipaliste of course we did not change philosophy,but frankly said,i guess nobody here would like to see this philosophy frustrated this much!this happens when someone tries to make bzness from an absolutely bzness-less activity!

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 7:11 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
lol absolute power corrupts absolutely human or otherwise...reminds me of big brother HAL from space odyssey or i,robot. Seriously the only person that I would donate to now is craig of craigslist, thus far resisted takeover offers and advertising, even though the site is now being spammed to death by its for profit competition :(

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 7:15 pm from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 7:22 pm from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 8:15 pm from Melbourne, Australia
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 8:37 pm by from Somerville, United States (Permalink)
The thing is, Couchsurfing is too popular and too big, they can't survive as a non-profit because their costs are getting bigger and bigger (servers, etc.), while their employees are being poorly paid, it's just a change that they have to make to be able to continue to provide adequate service to us.

The reason they delete these references is because they are not appopriate, in the sense that it's not what references are for. References are for surfers or hosters to communicate to other CSers their experience. What you are doing in no way fits that description. You should send messages to Casey or to the admins, or you should set up a petition online, but not write negative references to Casey.

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 9:01 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 26th, 2011 - 9:30 pm by from Niteroi, Brazil (Permalink)
FOR THOSE WILLING TO JOIN THE PROTEST:

The system of references in the Couch Surfing website exists so that we can publicly express our trust (or lack of trust) in a member of the Couch Surfing Project. Couch Surfing was built on trust, and we all trusted Couch Surfing to be a NON-PROFIT organization when we altruistically donated our money and time to the Project - but most of us would not have done so if we knew that it was going to turn into a corporation! When Casey Fenton (the founder of the website) decided to turn Couch Surfing into a profit-driven corporation, he has betrayed our trust - and a negative reference from all of us who had our trust betrayed is most apropriate!

It's time to fight for the Couch Surfing community we have worked so hard to build, and the best way to do so is by using the system against itself: we are now starting to post negative references on Casey Fenton's profile - and no matter how fast the website administration struggles to delete them, when they start coming by the hundreds (just watch the progress!) they will have to just let go and let our voice be heard (yes, the administration is deleting our negative references to Casey Fenton, they have already deleted dozens of them - CS has just turned corporate and it's already perverting one of its most sacred guidelines and deleting respectful, objectively written negative references!!!).

The corporate investors are watching Casey's profile right now: let them hear our voice and realize that CS will not be a good business investment for them - that CS is not just a website but a community of volunteers whose kindness and generosity is not for sale!

This post has already been repeatedly deleted by the administration of the website - it's a call for a respectful and democratic protest, but they want to silence our voice to protect their business...

Join us in the protest by writing a negative reference to Casey Fenton and by copying and pasting this message in every group wherein this discussion is taking place.

Here is Casey's profile, all you gotta do is go there and leave a reference as you would do to any other member of the community:

http://www.couchsurfing.org/people/casey/

We have also created a group to organize the protest. So if you don't like CS becoming a profit-driven corporation, you are welcome to join us:

http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=45507

Even though the negative reference I wrote to Casey Fenton was objective and respectful (and therefore in perfect agreement with the guidelines), it was deleted by the website administration. Here is a copy of its text:

"I had a negative experience with this member.

Couch Surfing was built on trust, and we all trusted Couch Surfing to be a NON-PROFIT organization when we altruistically donated our money and time to the Project - but most of us would not have done so if we knew that it was going to turn into a business! When Casey Fenton decided to turn Couch Surfing into a profit-driven corporation without even consulting the community, he betrayed my trust - and he betrayed us all. I no longer feel that I can trust Casey Fenton or the Couch Surfing Corporation."

Posted August 28th, 2011 - 4:03 am from Salmon Arm, Canada
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Posted August 28th, 2011 - 12:15 pm by from Kratie, Cambodia (Permalink)
Dear Saber,

We are contacting you to notify you that your recent reference for Casey Fenton has been removed.

The reason for its removal is because it is against our reference guidelines, which you can view here:http://www.couchsurfing.org/references.html

In these guidelines, we name two reasons that a reference may be removed:
1. "When the person leaving the reference has clearly never interacted with the other member at all, except by reading their profile."
2. "When the reference is only related to a member's work for CouchSurfing."

We understand you may be upset or concerned about CouchSurfing's conversion to a B Corporation. Casey can be reached directly atcasey.fenton@couchsurfing.org if you would like to discuss the change with him or share your thoughts; you can also ask questions by contacting the rest of our team: http://www.couchsurfing.org/contact

The reference system is one of CouchSurfing's key safety features, and it was not designed for messages or communications between members. I hope you understand that it's important for us to ensure that references are used only for the safety purpose that they were intended for. If you have any additional questions regarding references and safety on CouchSurfing, please feel free to contact us:http://www.couchsurfing.org/contact_safety

Warm Regards,

Posted August 26th, 2011 - 9:32 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
@Yepkio- Thanks for all the research.. it goes to show that it is a one man operation, with low costs and profitable just with the verification system alone. That is how globalized craigslist is able to operate multiple servers, and it relies heavily upon community moderation and volunteers. I agree if the site needed more money or help they could just campaign for more, the way it is set up is more like a sole proprietorship.

@nicolas- As to whether it is appropriate to leave emails vs references, we'll do the one that creates the most awareness TYVM. We want accountability, because most of us feel personally invested in the site.
Besides I have personally met the guy, he gave me a very affectatious presentation of the company, and so I feel very compelled to tell him why I feel backstabbed. If one can give positive references without so much as meeting them, just based on their positive actions, why then can't one do the same.

It isn't a witch hunt, or character assassination, it is a wow we got blindsided, or sucker punched with this update, you owe us an explanation, all users not just your inner circle. I don't like the information asymmetry either, if he's gonna run this as a capitalist he needs to know about market failures, consumers(users) have to have informed consent to make a decision as to stay or leave and create a truly open source, free community. The Big Elephant in the room is that he purposefully doesn't want the CS community to know because most of us are idealists who would go to Hospitality club in a minute.

Posted August 27th, 2011 - 1:14 am from Kyoto, Japan
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Posted August 27th, 2011 - 10:38 pm by from Kratie, Cambodia (Permalink)
Dear Casey
I read your message and sorry to put my reply here, since you have blocked your email receiving system.
I understand that this is a harsh moment for you. But you have US supporting you. We are with you. Please come back to us. Let’s talk and find a solution.
Casey
This is a very important historical moment. Be aware of your decision. You can be the greatest Human Corporation of the history of the world, than B Corporation of US. Don’t make Humanity to feel shame in front of God!
We help you. Whatever it is.
Come back to US Casey. Share what you have in mind. No shame, we help you. We are still a family.

Posted August 27th, 2011 - 10:53 pm by from Ravenna, Italy (Permalink)
but he got many positive references from people he does not know,as "Casey is obviously a genius. Who else would have known that if you give humanity a chance, it can create a self-sustaining, worldwide community of travellers, requiring only an adventurous spirit, a dash of trust and a some foam and cloth wrapped round a few bits of wood. I don´t know him, but I can tell that he is one of the good guys."

Posted August 28th, 2011 - 12:52 am by from Kratie, Cambodia (Permalink)
Dear Casey

Your act to delete CSers references is not so Polite.

Please be patient and understand our feelings about CS.

We dont want our home to be ruined.

Casey
I sent a respectful reference to you and didnt expect you to delete it.

We want to save CS.

Posted August 28th, 2011 - 3:50 am by from Chicago, United States (Permalink)
I copy-pasted my reference to Casey into my own profile, under "Opinion on the Couchsurfing Project". I imagine they are deleting negative references like crazy (there were only 5 when I looked! All from today). So keep them busy!

Basically I think it's too late to do anything, the contracts are signed, it's a done deal, but we can go (to other hospitality networks) leaving our opinion so they get the message! It won't do much good, they have enough apathetic or indifferent users, and the new and unsuspecting ones that will come from now on, who will not feel betrayed at all since they come into the new state of affairs, but still, they should know what happened.

***************

From Ignacio Duran
Chicago, United States
Aug 28 Only met online
Negative

Initially the impression was positive (great concept, CS) , although several attempts at contacting him personally were unsuccessful (a couple of years ago), showing alienation or estrangement from the base. Now I must say that by turning CS into a B-Corporation it is NEGATIVE, it is a BETRAYAL of our original intentions and agreement. I joined and contributed to CS because of its non-profit nature. You have gone back on your word! It is not morally defensible! I am disappointed!

Posted August 28th, 2011 - 4:02 am by from Wapenveld, Netherlands (Permalink)
SORRY !Maybe stupid question but how do I back up my references ?
Take a screenshot of the page ?

Posted August 28th, 2011 - 12:50 pm from Warsaw, Poland
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Posted August 28th, 2011 - 7:05 pm from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 30th, 2011 - 11:55 pm by from Zurich, Switzerland (Permalink)
this guy wrote me a message where he tryed to be nice after he was a complete traitor! watch out this guy has double faces!even if he appears nice in the email (even copy pasted), he seems to be untrustworthy and only uses couchsurfing for getting money from his guests

Posted August 31st, 2011 - 12:34 am by from Lapinlahti, Finland (Permalink)
You could have asked money for it.

Since the corporation is making money, why wouldn't the hosting now also cost. Especially for the shareholders of the corporation. ;)


Posted August 31st, 2011 - 8:07 am from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted August 31st, 2011 - 11:41 am from Tehran, Iran
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Posted September 1st, 2011 - 10:24 am from Duesseldorf, Germany
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Posted September 1st, 2011 - 10:29 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
"Please remember, if you haven't met the person you're writing a
reference for, it is against the guidlines for writing references."


That is not correct. You only need to have interacted with the member, and that interaction can be online in groups or via electronic message.

And if you are Casey Fenton you can collect references from people you have never interacted with (as long as they are positive...).

Posted September 1st, 2011 - 10:17 am by from Pisa, Italy (Permalink)
How to backup everything? Thanks