Filter out low-quality messages

If we are talking about low-quality messages, I was receiving tons of them every time I posted an open trip (to be fair, that was India and Turkey). And they weren’t short at all, they were very elaborate usually :joy: If there were an option to hide my profile from men, I guess I’d just use it. But maybe smth else could be done?


Nah, I don’t wanna block all men. I like men. They are funny creatures. But poorly trained ones can be annoying. Some of my best friends happen to be from that kindred, so blocking all of them is not really an option for me, what should we do?


Sorry to hear that it’s happening already!
If you don’t mind, please report any unwanted/inappropriate messages every time it happens. It’s important that we weed out bad actors early on. Please e-mail and include the following information:

  • The username of the person you are reporting (or a link to their profile)
  • What happened/what was inappropriate
  • Where it happened (a private message, a hosting request, etc)

All reports are carefully reviewed and you’ll receive a response from the support team within 24 hours.

Along the same lines we should probably post community guidelines to help educate people about what is appropriate vs not appropriate (since not every user on is a seasoned couch-surfer and some might not know what couch-surfing is all about).

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I think the popularity of host a sister shows there is demand for gender hiding/filtering. I also suspect that many people who start by using that option will turn it off if they have enough good experiences hosting or at events.



God, I don’t mean you and I also don’t like this option very much. I explained the situation and said I don’t know what can be done. You seriously think I should politely explain everyone why I found their message not really appropriate?

This topic is about those messages that are not openly inappropriate and deserve a report, but —>

There were some ideas previously bout what to do, I just brought it up because even when it seems like a minor nuance, it´s a major turn down for woman. They are not doing anything inappropriate technically, but… we know what´s going on. If a send you a random message saying hi, after talking with you over the forum for a year, it makes sense. But a “what´s up!” from a complete stranger, that doesn´t have any specific reason to contact you… it´s weird, and most of the time it´s just someone reaching out to see if they can hit on you. And: women are sick of it. And some men too.

You are saying whom need to be patient and nurturing and teachers? :nauseated_face: We are not your mom. Men need to take into their own hands their education, and stop putting that on women’s shoulders. Expecting that from woman is reinforcing stereotypes we do not want anymore. We do not have de obligation to educate men. If we feel like, we will, but we do not HAVE TO. But men DO have the obligation to know how to behave themselves.

It sounds like mansplaining because IT IS mainsplaning. You are literally telling a woman how she should feel when she receives this kind of messages, and that you know because you received one once (?) It´s ridiculous. The chances that you get this spammy messages, or that you are harassed, or that you are sexually assaulted are enormously lower being a male. So, please, stop explaining woman how they should react to things you do not experience. Thanks.

Again: I dont want to block all men. I would love if there´s a tool that helps educate men on what behavoir is not acceptable on Couchers, other that making women do all the extra work =)


Your patronizing tone leads nowhere either. You just sound rude, and you cannot expect people to chill when you are being patronizing. Chill? #nonoscalmamosnada


Anyone else has a profile on Trustroots?
Whenever I receive a message or request I also get to see this:
Screen Shot 2021-07-03 at 4.59.03 PM

(this was either a copy and paste request or “hi” so that’s why I chose NO).

I have no idea what Trustroots do with those feedbacks later. Maybe when the user gets too many “NO” those users might eventually get a message or email with tips on how to approach other users (read profiles, write personalized messages/requests etc.) or maybe they get blocked? Once again- I have no idea how this works on Trustroots just sharing what I saw :smiley:

Would this YES/NO feedback help educate people on how to write quality messages?

Also, the minimum word count/spam folder was discussed a year ago in July 2020, have you decided whether you like this idea? I think it’s not bad at all. If I was a spammer and knew that my “hi” is too short and goes directly into a spam folder it would motivate me to write a longer message and express myself instead of “testing the waters” or whatever these people are doing.


I have a lot to say about this debate too, and I would love to talk about this topic in the one or both of the online event this week. I think we can probably understand all the angles a bit better if we discuss it live, too!

Thank you for staying civil even though the topic can be really sensitive and triggering :purple_heart:


Let’s stay practical, what automated education is possible on a platform like this one?


@anon14140932, you write really condescending replies and then act like a victim when people defend themselves. If you cannot participate in a forum without escalating it with passive aggression then you are creating a really toxic environment.


I was thinking about this, on one hand it’s exactly what we want to avoid, on the other hand we want to enable people to connect in real life when they are travelling and it’s not easy to distinguish.

A good start, at least, would be having friendly, concise text explaining what messages are appropriate on the screen when you message someone for the first time.

We could also go down the route of confirmation dialogues etc. but there should be a balance, we don’t want to hassle all the time to remind people to be good. (Maybe the first time you send a message? Once a month?)


Seems that easiest way to tackle this problem fast is simply to introduce a 50 character first message minimum.

“I’m in town, let’s meet up for a drink. Somewhere in centre, tomorrow 5-7 pm” is about a shortest reasonable message one may write to a stranger, and that still leaves a lo to desire, like why, who and so on, and it has (if I calculated correctly) 74 characters when spaces included.

In the long run I bet the developers may figure out other ways to sort our useless spam, which is not ill-intentioned, but tiresome and annoying for the recipient. As a male I am lucky I have not received much of such messages, but in CS over the years I have had heaps of pretty useless couch requests, I mostly have declined for the sake of not filled profile and not enough info about the person and why I should host him/her. Also non-solicited friend requests are somewhat annoying. I don’t want to be friends with someone I don’t know in real life and with whom I have not even exchanged first message to find out if there is anything in common.

The gender omit/manipulation I see as not useful, as it has its perks, though in general I think gender in hosting is secondary as long as people do not abuse the system for wrong reasons.

Another probably easy way to tackle this problem could be to limit less than 100 character first messages to one per month. That’s how these people could never bother too many people at once.


I wouldn’t like the person who sends “hi” to random people to elaborate on what he wants from me :joy: :joy: Totally agree with Emily:

I like the idea of just filtering those out as spam - without notifying the sender this is a bad message. I’d suggest one general filter by default that sends “hi”, “hy”, “hello how are you” and all this stuff to spam folder.

Also, what about going about the first message like Instagram did? If you receive a message from a stranger, you can choose between “allow”, “delete” or “block”.

And I don’t like the idea of constant reminders like “hey, it’s not a dating site” or “hey, was this message polite and respectful” at all. I feel they can be a huge turn off for nice people by themselves.


Filtering out etc those “spam” messages would also require they do not count in personal statistics “not responded” to diminish one’s response quota.


I like all the ideas presented here: a short educational message now and then, a minimum of words for fist messages, and a folder for first messages like the IG model.

I also like the feedback idea, wheter it is similar to the one trustroots have, or just an allow/delete/block option. I think if you have too many first messsages being deleted/blocked maybe you could recive a polite informative message about the way to approach people on the community, and that this will be reflected on your community standing. Its educational and simple. And makes clear for the rest of the community this person is not behaving according to the correct spirit.


My last request on Trustroots was literally “Hello!!” and it was from a girl. I don’t think her intentions were bad. Most likely she didn’t know this is not a real life where you don’t need to exchange polite greetings and questions before you write what you want.

I think system messages or emails with tips would be helpful for people like that.

Would it be possible to send these system message only to people who barely get any replies back so we don’t have to bother “experienced” users who don’t need reminders of this kind?

Can we do anything else except 1. ignoring low-quality messages 2. having the possibility to flag these messages as spam/having a spam folder 3. having the possibility to block/report others users or 4. having system messages/emails to help educate users?


Oh, I like this!

Could be different kinds of them also, smth like “we see you don’t get many replies, one of the reasons could be that you don’t tell much about yourself or the purpose of writing, find more in our FAQ here” for those who just don’t get answered, and “we see your messages often get blocked by users. we want to remind you this is not a website for dating or flirting and your account can be banned for such behaviour” for those being blocked.

  1. when counting characters you should also consider the languages. If you use a language with non-phonetic alphabet it is possible that a full messge could be much shorter, in term of characters, than it european counterpart.
    2, just an Hi could be a messge to ask if the person is interested to start a communication.

We should educate people not to do that. A proper message if you want to start communication would be " Hi, I´m this person, I´d like to start communication because of this reason". That´s why I said earlier that calling it “chat” does not help: in a chat system you just say hi and the convo is back and forth, and this may give users the wrong impression about how to use the platform. Calling them messages or something that gives the feeling of the need of a more elaborated content would assist on educate people about the good practices. Is just a silly detail, but seeing the word chat does influence the way we use the tool.

Also, a info page with info about the proper way to use the platform and the message system is needed. I know it´s small now, but technically it doesn´t say anywhere in the platform that it is not a dating platform at this point. If someone gets the link to the app, this is what they see

Yeah, I know there´s an “about” button on the app that takes you to the main main page with all the info about the project, but again: it doesnt´say anywhere plain and simple: “dating is miss use of this platform” or what it is expected as proper behavior from the users. =/