I had multiple profiles in cs but not for ill purposes , i thought its a great way to end the attention of one person to me (when i was very young…) and start aknew. (losing previous refs also).
But i will agree with husso. Cause maybe the ppl who harassed me and made me start new account to avoid them, they are the ones who start an account, harass someone, then if they get busted they start a new one.
Im in full support of some sort of interview process like Servas is doing (very strict interview process that takes 2-3 weeks and includes an 1 hour skype with the candidate interview by an old member), or accept new members with payment + ID verification not just payment so that ppl cannot effectively have 2 accounts (2 IDs?), and demand passport (there are external services checking ids I think that can be embedded in your app),
or just an interview process cause just the prospect of an interview wil scare away most predators/people will ill intentions but NOT ALL. It is well known some criminals are very charming until they are caught… Not all criminals are creeps like in hollywood movies Some are very convincing etc.
But a long , 1 monnth long interview process with 3 old members via skype focusing on past experience as traveller/ past experience or not in hospex/ when having zero experience, ask about how one would decide to meet or host a stranger/ and so on.
Of course the scary part is if 3 members interviewing a new prospect think he/she is not giving good vibes, what do you do? Just say ‘no’ to their application and make them go after you from anger? Especially if you are dealing with real criminals, they dont take ‘no’ for answer.
Maybe the interview could be a long questionaire lasting 2 weeks, impersonal, so that the person being interviewed doesnt know who exactly is going to ‘‘reject’’ their application.
One to be a member should go through an interview via a questionaire, give ID check (there are websites that check ID with face photo that can be used as third party in couchers.org for checking the ID), give a valid telephon, and as many social accounts aspossible(facebook, instagram, twitter, linkedin, couchsurfing?).
And give credit for anyone giving up all that Like a badge or points earned for going through all these stages. Yet people may go through all these checks and still do crimes as we know.
That is why a community feel locally to be cultured is the best way for safety on top of all that. If i know i will stay with X and she is member of a local group in couchers. about hiking, and she wil introduce me to B during a hike or will help me go hiking, maybe i feel safer than just staying over/sleeping over at X"s apartment.
To create communities you need locals who will do events regularly and not one offs. And im not sure where you stand on paid tours but i participated in couchsurfing paid tours and the tour leader had an empt profile often, all he did is the tours, and expecting money (donations) and didnt engage in travellers in any other way. So altho im not against some commercial aspects I saw in practise they turn the interaction between people into a purely business relationship which is not very nice when you want to discuss culture and give a value to an experience other than hard money can buy you.