We’ve now changed the messaging system so you can message anyone. You’ll find a “Message” button under each user’s profile picture on their profile page.
We’ve also paired this up with a new flag button next to each message on the chat screen that you can use to report messages and chats. We’ll be using that flag button more and more and you’ll be seeing it around the interface.
Please continue reporting content that violates our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. Our awesome support team is always happy to investigate and help out even if you aren’t 100% sure of it!
A bit of background about this change: the original thinking was that not being able to arbitrarily message other users would reduce the number of unwanted messages some users were getting on other platforms. These were often unrelated to the core couch surfing experience and sometimes just plain creepy. However, we’ve found that restricting messaging didn’t have this effect: instead, when a user wants to contact a lot of people, they now send out huge numbers of friend requests that still feel unwanted but now the recipient won’t even know why they are being contacted! We have also found that it’s hard for our Community Builders to get in touch with others in an area or welcome them onto the platform when not being able to message them directly. So after receiving a bunch of feedback from our community here on the forum and elsewhere, and observing these challenges, we’ve decided to make this change!