How can we prevent inappropriate behavior?

Continuing the discussion from What tools can we give our users to help curb using the platform for dating?:

I think we should actually embrace a positive message of what we want and expect. Like:

We want every member be safe to stay with every other member. 100%.

That’s less than 100% No inappropriate behaviour. Guess I don’t know how to express that as a believable goal… If someone can I’d love to hear it!

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Even smart people with best intentions to create utopia became tyrants and dictators.

This community will be a reflection of it’s members, and we are all imperfect.

To be more practical: I believe the best tool to create a satisfying experience in couchers
is to give people control over what they want and what they limit.
It will create some extra work for the creators of this website.
It also means that most proposals for extra features, filters, … can be made without limiting everybody at once.


Sure, but within a certain design that reflects guiding ideas of the platform. Like, we wouldn’t give anyone control over how much they want to charge for the night in their home. That option is excluded by design, because it would be against a guiding idea of the project. There’d be no point in putting it on the menu in the first place.

Likewise with regards to trust & safety, I believe it would be a bad approach to offer an option, that should not be picked anyways. In my understanding this option is above all heterosexual dating. I think we shouldn’t offer this option and therefore not follow the setup of cs, where users can search for the opposite gender. We could rather have a design where users can limit connections based on gender:

Gender preferences

I identify as [non-binary/female/male]
I only want to stay with members of my gender [check]
I exclusively want to connect with members of my gender [check]

Weeeeellp non-hetero harassers will be very happy with this. lol.

I think that, instead of focusing on tools for sexual/gender segregation we should make tools that allow people to use the platform without having to fear interacting with any member whateer gender, sex or sexual identity they have. I don´t want to live in a world where the only way I don´t get harassed is by not interacting with people that may think I am attractive. I want to live in a world where I can interact with everybody freely and be respected and not harassed by anyone. (yeah, I know, it´s a lot to ask, but you have to aim for the sky to hit the second floor window, or something like that)

If we can integrate the layout of an entire project like Host A Sister with two checkboxes, why not do it?

You think it would be better to not focus on gender? But then, should we ask about gender at all?

Host a Sister has over 100 thousand users. Why bother singing to Couchers then? If I am here is because I want something else, I want a place where I can feel safe without having to auto-segregate myself.

What I am saying is: providing filters it´s like wearing baggy clothes to avoid being catcalled, it may work, but it does not solve the background issue, it resolves the sympthoms, not the cause of them. So maybe we should focus on providing tools that help prevent the issue, not just provide tools to hide it. Hope that´s more clear =)


Yes, if as a woman you generally would like to hang out with anyone, but it’s difficult because there’s a lot of harassment, then just keeping guys separated is not solving anything at the core of that.

But that’s not the only perspective here. I believe filtering for gender has many genuine use cases. You can live in a country that’s mostly segregated. You might not have the option to host people from opposite gender for individual reasons. You might just genuinely want to hang out with same gender. You might be lgbt+ and want to connect with people from your community only.

Well, I guess the positive idea here is about making the platform more useful and accesible for usage as just mentioned. The only usage that in my view leads to an overall toxic culture, is men exclusively filtering for women. I think that’s why this filter should be off the table from the start.

But it’s true that as a feature to prevent inappropriate behavior of men towards women, it’s not solving the problem and it’s not offering positive improvements. But then, would it be in the way of other improvements?

Those are all valid points. My reply referred only to the title of the topic “inappropriate behavior”. So: I’m not saying those filters are intrinsecly bad, or shouldn’t exist, what I am saying they should be other tools to avoid inappropriate behavior, not those.

Some ideas were proposed in several discussions, minimum amount of words for a first message, an alternative inbox for messages from people you had no previous contact where you can accept or decline (maybe with the option of report) I did like that CS had, among the report reasons “dating”, I think it’s a strong declaration to say dating is a reason to be reported. But it wasn’t well implemented, it was hidden in a menu and most people were not aware. I proposed a simple button with a flag and the word dating, to make a clear statement that that’s not appropriate behavior.

Also, regarding hang outs, I saw this app with a very cool concept in this matter: it links people in groups of 3. We all know hangouts is where lots of this people that want a date lure, so it maybe we could incorporate this somehow to hangouts, and make the minimum number of people to start a hangout 3 instead of 2, to make clear that it’s not a date, it’s a group meeting from the go. I know this could be counterproductive in small places or for not so popular activities, maybe this could be override by the user on demand.
Let’s say I go into hangouts, see someone proposing an activity I’m interested on, I send the request, she/he/it accepts, the hangout forms and shows in the list of available hangouts for people to join, but inside the chat it shows a message saying “waiting for the 3 person to join” and participants cannot start chatting until someone else joins. Maybe this last bit could have the option of “start chat anyway” that will allow to start chatting only if both parties click on it, so for not so popular places or activities the hangout between 2 can happen anyways but only if both agree on that. (Sorry for the length, it’s a complex mechanism and I wanted to be clear)

Also about hangouts: lower points or give some “cool off period” to people that get declined regularly, or that leaves hangouts regularly. I’m bringing this up because of guys that requests and start chatting but leave the moment you accept another guy, without even saying bye. There maybe reasons to leave sometimes, but it this is a repeated Modus operandi there should be some warning for misuse.

Also: a visible flag for dating inside the hangout chat window.

Also: encouraging references. Not sure about how to implement this, but if there were more people using the reference system (whether a written reference or a private multiple choice) it would be easier to make evident who is misusing the platform. If we somehow make people used to review every person they interact with, and not only the ones they had a great time with, it would be cristal clear.

Sorry for the long post, it’s all that comes to mind right now, hope it helps :slight_smile:

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Yes, I already realised I’m kind of posting off-topic in the topic I started!

I love the idea of making hangouts decidedly a group feature. Saw you already posted it in Improving Hangouts! So let’s continue the discussion on hangouts there :+1:

And I’ll close this topic again. I think it’s just spreading out the discussion without making it more clear and all this actually does have a good place in What tools can we give our users to help curb using the platform for dating?

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