On the problems with reviews

There is a huge problem with reviews. In another response, I wrote about a man I knew who got his friends to give him good reviews so women would be more comfortable staying with him. He only hosts women. If that can be countered, I doubt it. Fine for sex trawlers of all kinds, but maybe some of us arent trolling for sex and work to avoid those who are.

Too many women on CS have written positive reviews about hosts who were predators because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings! I think it’s defensive. If a host has a bad experience, the bad surfer knows where they live! I don’t think surfers think about how vulnerable hosts truly are. But for surfers, it’s pretty scary to go to some unknown man’s home, not only for men but especially women.

As a result of fake good reviews, surfers have been raped, especially women. One of the reasons to hate CS is that their “safety” is bs and more “coverup.” They are useless in the face of crime and what’s the punishment? A host gets kicked off the platform big whoop.

Couchers could have scads of info, a dedicated page about how to protect your rights, what they are, and resources to help. How to get in touch with your embassy. Where they are. At this point it’s beyond stupid to travel with a “best of all worlds” mind. What women’s organizations are nearby. In the US, we have RAINN which is an extremely important org that supports all those who have been sexually assaulted. Don’t you think that would be good for our visitors to know?


Also I have been in contact with a woman who is interested in this type of communication and action. I am one of the first Couchers in Seattle she feels safe referencing me. I will post the information soon.

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Yes, there’s quite some discussion about it on other topics with the #safety tag. If you want to focus more on this and better frame what we can implement we could also open a workgroup category here on the forum.

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I think it’s a good idea for members or community builders to provide local information as you’ve suggested in a public way that is available to women. It would a good source source of information, given that perhaps language barriers for non-locals would be hard pressed to find the information while travelling. If they are directed to the right places, Google Translate can help with the rest. :slight_smile:

Hope that you reported those profiles/users that collaborated. I’ve always considered that buffering, especially for nefarious individuals, to be highly suspect and not proporting or demonstrating the values of the community.

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And what was I supposed to say? report what? this happened just as I gave up on C S. I think it’s possible to do a little digging and cross reference users for one’s safety which is what I did, so others can do it too.
Don’t get mad at me. We all know how useless C S is as far as anyone’s safety.

I think it is a really good idea to have a safety advice page, both universal advice as well as local advice like phone numbers, laws etc.

As a starting point, there are a lot of good tips here: https://www.reddit.com/r/couchsurfing/comments/v974xa/couchsurfing_as_18yo_female/

Also, I feel that the anonymous question " Did you feel safe with this person’s behavior?" that you need to answer when leaving a reference is really great innovation by couches.


What you say is totally true. When traveling and trying to look for hosts, there were always those male profiles that say they receive people of any gender, but they only had women’s reviews, or maybe 1 or 2 reviews from men. A couple of years ago, with my girlfriend at the time, we both sent a request to stay (basically at the same time) to one of those guys, and he rejected mine saying something like “sorry, my house is full, blah blah blah”, on the other hand, he accepted hers saying “yeah, of course, welcome…”.

I stopped losing my time asking those people to host me, but I know for women, even though it’s “easier” to get hosted, it’s also more dangerous. Some women in CS I talked with said that in some situations, some of those hosts made them feel they “owe” them some “special favors” just for hosting them for free, putting them in a very uncomfortable and dangerous situation where in reality there is no consent.

Couchers somehow should empower members to speak up when this type of situation happens, and also let members know that implying that someone owes you sexual favors for staying with you is sexual harassment, and non consensual sex is rape, and that’s unacceptable and illegal.


True. Maybe you can try to locate the nearest police station to thier house as soon as you get a host.

I will do my best to remember this! :joy:

Maybe an indicator (%) of male-female hosted could give a quick insight to the hosting “behavior” of the host. A male predator will easily have >80-90% female guests.
It wouldn’t work about a female homosexual predator that would state that she hosts only females for safety because that’s common and a good excuse.
It wouldn’t really work for gay male predators either in the particular following situation: I (male) got harassed by a male host. I had seen that he was hosting only guys, but when I asked him he said that in his community (he was Buddist) it is not accepted for him to host females, which to my eyes was a valid reason. After that night I believe it was a lie and he got his first negative review.

It would not work also in another couple of cases:
if that person in the area has a “very good name” as a safe host, so it is a preferred one for female guests.
Imagine also another case: I frequent mostly two groups: one is 98% of males (I remember in 17 years only 3 woman that were not wifes of a male participant [the 2% includes wifes]) and the other where woman are 60% but if you restrict to really active ones are more than 80%.
Well, if I decided to host people from one of that groups [for both ones did exist groups on CS, only first one has a group on BW, only the second a circle in TR] I would have an unbalanced number of guests by gender [curiously, even if it is something completely “asexuate” [it is broadly in the field of engineering management] even the old CS group and current BW one are male only]

rereading this sentence, written a long time ago, reminded me an episode that i witnessed on CS:
An host offered a lady a private room. after dinner said “if you need something during the night, I am in my bed in the room near your one”. That women left a negative comment saying that the host was doing indecent proposals.
What is “predatory” is subjective, and even more subjective is the weight to give to single episodes in the overall reference