Avoid bad references by fake accounts

Let’s say person A stayed with person B and had a bad encounter. Person A writes a bad reference to person B. Person B is feeling insulted and starts to create fake accounts to write bad references to Person A. How would we counter this?

It can sometimes happen but I would be more concerned when A misbehaved and was the guilty one before putting a negative comment for B to try to escape with his attitude, then B is trying in vain to correct his reputation, travellers will tend to believe more A than his host B. How to deal with that?
I think there should be a moderator to step in and try to resolve the issue by communicating with both parties, both think they are right but one is more faulty than the other and when we face them we will realize that he is lying in his story.

I guess this is another discussion and might be worth another or a new thread. I was focussing on fake profiles where users go rogue and are not open for any moderation at all.

It should be easier with fake profiles. If B purposely sets up a new profile- C just to write a negative reference and there is absolutely no record of hosting or communication between C and A, then whatever C says most likely didn’t happen. Then I guess it’s up to a moderator or safety team to delete this reference.


Yeah, looks like it should not even be possible to write a reference in such a case (at least currently). Just tried it for a random profile and I am not offered the Write Reference button on the references tab.


Yes, I like the current situation on Couchers a lot. The chances of getting a reference from a fake account are very low. Technically you might get a reference from a fake account if you accept some rando’s friend request who (once in your connections) can easily write you one.


well CS currently allows references to be written for another person no matter if friends or hosted. it can be abused but I guess they leave it accessable for situations where people unfriend or situations that happen by using couch surfing but don’t depend on having an (accepted and confirmed) request like a person behaving bad at a community meeting or being a co-traveler when they are not the person who sent the request.

in some way this is also important to leave references to persons you have not been connected to, but unless I have a solution I like the system like it is (only send references to persons you are friends with or you stayed at/hosted

I’m not sure what the function would be of being able to write references to people you’re not already connected to. By becoming “friends”, which is easily done, are you not also giving permission for referencing between parties? Isn’t that how it currently works on Couchers?

Maybe, this should be explicitly stated in the pending friend request notification/page.

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@zrazzaque how would you phrase that statement?

Something like, “You have received a Friend Request from zrazzaque. You can accept the request to connect with them. Connected Couchers can send each other direct messages, include each other in chats and leave references.”

Though I would prefer, “Oh joy! zrazzaque wants to add you as a friend. It does not look as if either of you has hosted the other. zrazzaque created their account 1 day ago. Did you know that once friended, zrazzaque can send you direct messages, add you to conversations with other Couchers and even write a reference on your profile. Decisions, decisions!”


I guess perhaps we can configure such that one can only leave a reference for one another unless they have attended the same event or have hosted / been hosted. And once the event period has ended then no one can joined it to leave references.

Limiting the possibility to leave references to people that did not contacted in advance is not a good thing.
some examples: A (that lives with B, both have accounts) accept the request of C traveling with D . When there B does not fit with D (A case i know in real life).
So can happen that D (never, before arrival, had any contact with A or B) leaves a bad reference to A complaining that did not do enough to have B more accepting A’s guests.
B on its turn leave a bad reference to C telling that was better he did not travel with other people when this people is not accepting what the other people need. How to do in this case ?
other example: C takes at A’s home two friends, telling about them in the rquest, and that for them was the first time.
Unfortunately one of these people had a charachteristics that made her incompatible with A, that C when sent the request ignored. First thing that D does is to create an account and leave a negative reference to A.
Other case: A has two guests, C and E, that came separately.
They arrive early at A’s home so wait on a bench with their luggages. they talk and a certain point C go to take some water at a fountain.
They have a good dinner in separate rooms, and in the morning they leave.
C discover later, in the evening, that a bottle of quality wine that had taken to give to its next host has strangely changed into one water bottle. the only possible moment for exchange would have been while they waited, so C leave a negative reference to E.

All case when were no connection.