Over the past several months, we have made many changes to both Member Profiles and to our Reference System, and we’ve received lots of excellent feedback from the Couchsurfing community. Here’s a recap of some of the new features:

  • New Reference System – Members are often hesitant to leave honest assessments of their experience due to a fear of retaliation. In October, we moved to a “double-blind” reference system, in which neither reference is published until both references have been written. This allows members to leave honest assessments without risking retaliation. For similar reasons, we no longer allow references to be edited or deleted.
  • Private Feedback –  We added an option to send Private Feedback to the Trust and Safety team when you leave a Host or Guest reference. When a member indicates that they did not feel completely safe during a stay, they are presented with the option to leave Private Feedback about their experience. Private Feedback allows our Trust and Safety team to be more proactive by enabling them to investigate and take action more quickly when risk is identified.
  • Tags and the New Member Profile– The new Member Profile provides a quick view of a member’s experience. After a stay, members can now select tags that represent their experience. These tags can be used to highlight awesome traits or identify potentially risky ones.The new profile also better highlights the relevance of Host/Surf references.
  • Leave Reference Reminders – Members are now prompted to leave a reference, increasing the rate at which references are left.
  • Reference Designation Display – We changed how Positive, Negative, and Neutral references are displayed to emphasize references that are linked to confirmed stays and to reflect the varied experiences of our members.

As a result of these changes, we’ve seen an increase in the number of references left after a stay, as well as an increase in confidential reports to the Trust and Safety Team.

Some of these updates have caused unanticipated confusion and made some members feel less safe. Thank you for your feedback. We are working to address some of these new challenges and will be making changes to address some of your concerns. We’ll release more details in the near future – stay tuned!

We are excited to continue improving these features using your feedback. If you have any additional feedback about our new updates, please share it with us here!  If you have questions about these changes, please see this article.

The members that make up our vibrant, caring community are the cornerstone of Couchsurfing. Thanks again for your input and for helping to make Couchsurfing the best it can be!

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