CouchSurfing Corporate. CS Censorship and going for-profit. C$ = CashSurfing

CS Profile

Goodbye CouchSurfing,

Welcome C$, Cash$urfing

C$ Corporation exploited the work of volunteers without keeping the given word (CS goes Corporate & uses ads)

CouchSurfing was builded up by volunteers, people full of energy, willing to help a non-profit organization. Thanks to those volunteers (me included) CS became really popular.

The founder (Casey Fenton), which always made clear that CS would never be a corporatesold it  and it’s now officially a for profit corporation where the members are business material.
When CS was a non-profit, I was volunteering a lot, spending my time, energy and money. I was doing it for a non-profit community. If I knew it would have been a corporate I would not have done it.
In 2012 CS staff even said: “We will never advertise on Couchsurfing. Ever.” – Now advertising is one of the main income tool for C$.


Censorship and manipulation

The discussions that are not welcome to cs executives get deleted. Or they get hidden by moving them in the bottom of the list.

Facebook VS CouchSurfing

Actually it looks like that Facebook is doing the exact opposite of CouchSurfing, they started as an Enterprise but they are more and more becoming beneficial for communities and social causes.

Many profiles have been suddenly removed without notification or explanation

Plenty of members on C$ got their profile deleted without even knowing why.
Good part of those persons happen to be, “by coincidence”, experienced couchsurfers which were previously volunteers and expressed their disappointment for the turn to “for-profit” of C$.

Deleting a profile is a bit like killing the person, shouting him “digitally” down.

Asking to the customer support of C$ why a profile is removed, they answer:

“Your profile has been removed due to a Terms of Use violation. You can review our Terms here: http://about.couchsurfing.com/terms-of-use/
Unfortunately, that is all the information we can provide due to privacy reasons.”

The neutral reference I wrote for Casey Fenton (C$ founder & seller) has never been published on CouchSurfing

“I briefly crossed my path with Casey when he was in The Netherlands .
Of course I am totally thankful to Casey for founding CouchSurfing, he started something that we are all benefiting from.
I am also admiring him for doing things like using the same fork several time to avoid make dirty other cutlery.
I am a bit less thankful for his decision to sell CouchSurfing and make it a for-profit company,  previously Casey always highlighted that CS is no-profit and always will be (it was also stated that CS would never get advertising on the website).

When CS was a non-profit, I was volunteering a lot, spending a lot of time, energy and money. I was doing it for a non-profit community, for everybody. If I knew it would have been a corporate I would not have done it.

In couchsurfing there is also quite much censorship going on in the background.

Be Welcome and Warm Showers, are real no-profit and more transparent communities.
https://www.couchsurfing.com/users/1/references?experience=neutral

 

Facebook vs Couchsurfing

Now it looks like that Facebook is becoming more and more ‘open’ style, while couchsurfing does the opposite.


When I still believed in CouchSurfing, I was promoting it with all my energies

– Trying to make CS Censorship-free – I failed;
– Spread the word and making CS popular – thanks to many volunteers, it worked out!;

and I was also willing to improve other segments:

– Getting categorized the inbox for couch request : “no”; “yes”, “maybe” section;
– Order events by date/popularity;

Getting the features:
– Geolocation couchsurfers on profile;
– Friendship types (good friend, acquaintance, etc);


Alternatives to CouchSurfing

  • WarmShowers – Cyclist Oriented (many information’s and feature for Bicycle Travelers)
  • BeWelcome – Open, non profit hospitality community
  • TrustRoots – Hitchhikers Hospitality Community
  • Rainbow Gathering – More than an hospitality community, a worldwide family

 Volunteering Work/Accommodation exchange (20hrs of work/week = food + accomodation):

  • WorkAway – The most well organized and structured website for work/accommodation
  • HelpEx – Many volunteering opportunities, just the site interface is not too cleaned up
  • Wwoofing – Organic Farm Volunteering, the first travel work/accommodation exchange community

 Renting an affordable place:

  • Airbnb.com – Rent from locals, biggest online community (mostly for few days, but often you can negotiate longer stays and prices and get great deals!)
  • Roomorama.com – Similar to Airbnb, but smaller community, site with less features
  • EasyRoommate.com – House sharing and renting ads (mostly for few months at least)
  • HostelBookers.com – Cheapest Hostels Worldwide
  • HostelWorld.com – Biggest Hostel website

You are welcome to comment and give your opinion!

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Sex tourism or Rape? Couchsurfing horror story in Vilnius, Lithuania. A negative reference about sexsurfing that hides many things…

The aggressor

Twenty minutes of terror in Vilnius, the calm capital of Lithuania.
This man invites you to dinner and while being polite…

One of those two is the suspected
One of the two men is the accused of the crime, the face of the suspected is partially covered.

This is the feedback Giedre, a couchsurfing member, wrote for the guy in the above picture:

Giedre Birzyte Reference - Couchsurfing - Luca Gentile
“GIRLS, BE CAREFUL! I am putting negative reference, so you would go and check the neutral references, before you decide to stay, host or meet him. I’ve met him shortly, he invited me for a dinner to his place. 20 minutes was enough to understand that it is better to RUN fast from this guy. Pure intuition and no evidence, but I am glad I did not stay for evidence.”

Here he is cooking, preparing the trap
The guy is in the middle

We don’t have evidence yet, but thanks to intuition, our alert friend Giedre, could get away fast from him, lucky. Cause potentially, he could have done really horrific things…
Reports like this are quite useful for our community, we get informations and we know whom to isolate, or eventually report to Police.
Let’s hope many people will be so smart, alert and investigative like Giedre to report as much as possible those cases.

In the middle the suspected guy, while eating with other couchsurfer
In the middle the suspected guy, while eating with other couchsurfers –  Host Erwin Rossen – Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Or not?

How many are our own mental fantasies and how many of those are matching the reality?

How many of those we thought were serial killer did really kill?
Do we watch maybe too many horror movies?

We are so scared and warned about strangers, but do we know that many crimes are happening within the family circles?
Do we know that it’s more likely that our best friend or partner is going to do something bad, than a stranger?

In the USA people continuously kill each other by mistake, they have all easy reach to weapons and simply because they are ‘scared’ they fire instinctively… maybe on their neighbour

Here he fakes to be asleep before attacking the polish victims - CS Host Patrik  - Belgium
Here he maybe fakes to be asleep before attacking the victims, three polish CSers – CS Host Patrik – Belgium

I don’t think that not knowing someone is a reason why this person is potential serial killer.
There is bad people, but is not because we don’t know them that they are bad.

The creepy guy is eating while other couchsurfers are scared of him
The creepy guy is eating while other couchsurfers are scared of him, ready to run away. Or maybe the one standing could be his crime partner –  Couchsurfers Andrea Taurino and Rafael Oliveira – Helsinki, Finland

You wanted maybe now the continue of the story? – actually the start, cause we don’t have a start yet.
Righ!  I will write it, also because the guy who got the feedback is me (yes, I am a monster and I didn’t even realize it)

Here the horror story continues…

Here a potential victim is drinking some unknown drinks
Here a potential victim is drinking some unknown substances with closed eyes

“I am putting negative reference, so you would go and check the neutral references… I’ve met him shortly, he invited me for a dinner to his place, 20 minutes… it’s better to run…pure intuition and no evidence” – Giedre says (the victim)
What kind of reference is that? An invite to see other references? It’s better to run? run instead of…? walking? cycling? Intuition of what? Why she went to my place if I have such alarming neutral feedbacks? – I say (the monster).

This is a proof of the offender intention to arm, his expression is enough to condemn him.
This is a proof of the offender intention to harm, his expression is enough to condemn him. The victim is not aware of it, still smiling – CS Meeting in The Netherlands.

Twenty minutes of horror:

Giedre was supposed to host me, she accepted my couch-request but finally I got a good offer on Airbnb where I could have my own apartment in Vilnius (soviet union style) for a superlow price.
I invited her to have some food at my place to be thankful to her.
It took me efforts to make the food (I wanted to cook something good) and make the place look nice.

First ten minutes:

I noticed that Giedre was already behaving odd talking about the neighborhood where I had the apartment (which is the Naujininkai district in Vilnius) saying it was a place where criminals live, doing a bit Columbo style.
As she arrived, her inspection started to my apartment, almost like mr Holmes, she asked me detailed informations such as where I had this place from, if I moved the furniture myself, etc… she even looked inside personal closets and I told her: “I don’t even know what you will find in those closets cause this is not my place and I have not opened those closets myself to respect the privacy of my host” – then she stopped doing inspector gadget and started eating.

Second ten minutes:

Except her ‘high level curious behavior’, everything seemed to be back to normality once we started to eat.
I didn’t feel really offended by her previous behaviour cause I have met any kind of persons in my trips (even though someone else may get offended, especially from the inspection in the personal closets).
She was seating in front of me, about two meters far from me, on another couch, the table was in the middle of us, she was always asking quite odd and personal questions but less Clouseau style this time.
I had some bad experiences in Riga not long ago, I was starting to talk about it to her, saying: “in Riga some criminal girls tried to drug me in order to rob me…” – when Giedre stood up, said: “I want to go” – and left.

This all happened in no more than half-hour in total, no longer. Absolutely nothing more than this happened.

I felt really down, I could not understand why she did it, I got almost depression for a couple of days (especially after reading her comment) thinking something is wrong with me.

Classic pose of a perverted half naked serial killer, pretending to cook, before attacking the victim
Classic pose of a perverted half naked curly hairy serial killer, pretending to cook, searching some knifes, before attacking the CouchSurfing victim

After some facebook discussion with many people about this event I guess that one of those applies:
– Giedre is psychologically not stable;
– She feels some kind of feminist empathy for the criminal girls of Riga;
– She is totally disrespectful and has random hate for men;
– Giedre is a friend of someone who left me a neutral reference;
– No other men have ever been so polite with her and she was shocked;
(it’s also possible that more than one of those applies)

Here the host prepares the trap, it's to against the host Thea, from Oslo.
Here the guy prepares the trap, it’s for  the CS host Thea Rostbakken, from Oslo, Norway.

In her mind being too polite is not normal and for her is equal to be creepy?

I wanted to write to Giedre, but from the moment I am like a monster to her eyes (by reading her reference) I prefer not to contact her. I also think she should be the one who has to write first, anyway I am open to friendly discussion (but without food this time). Maybe would be good also for her (for sure cheaper than a psycholog).

I will leave a negative feedback to her cause I feel quite uncomfortable with what she did and what she wrote.
I don’t find it fair: I was really polite, kind and respectful to her, I spent efforts to make the place look nice and for the food.
She accused me ‘in general’ just for no reason, just for her mental fantasies. I really would like to know what was going on in her mind and what girls should be careful of?

An attempt to poison a whole group of CSers, in Hungary, during CS  Couchsurfing Diamond Moon tour 2013 - http://www.evezzvelem.hu/ajanlasok_eng.php
An attempt to poison a whole group of CSers, in Hungary. Note the offender habit to be almost naked before the crime – during CS Couchsurfing Diamond Moon tour 2013 –
http://www.evezzvelem.hu/ajanlasok_eng.php

OK Giedre, you don’t know it cause you runned away after 20 min, but I tell you a secret about me, something few people know, something maybe I should feel ashamed of, something not just to make public in a post, something that may condemn people to death penalty in certain regimes, a fact that may not allow me to go back to my italian family, the evidence that you didn’t wait to discover:

I am a feminist too!
And I will help you to warn all the GIRLS about the danger that they may have with such a creepy man as I am. But I will be more specific then you.

Let’s shout out the hidden truth of me, my dark side:

The attacker behaving like a friendly pizza man, before his dark plans. CS host "Martina Piantina", Spain,
The attacker behaving like a friendly pizza man, before his dark plans (look at the knifes, why there? why in the kitchen? – Also on the nose there is some white powder, he was maybe  camouflaging cocaine for flour, typical technique) CS host “Martina Piantina”, Spain,

GIRLS , PAY ATTENTION TO ME!
I MAY INVITE YOU FOR DINNER, I MAY USE ITALIAN MANNERS: I MAY COOK HEALTHY ITALIAN FOOD FOR YOU, MAKE MY PLACE COZY, CLEAN AND, EVEN, I MAY BE GENTLE, FUNNY, RELAXED, FOOD ACROBATIC, POLITE AND RESPECTFUL TO YOU, AS GUEST AS WOMAN AND AS HUMAN BEING. GIRLS BE AWARE OF THIS.
Why not warning boys too? I do invite men as well at my place.
– Please Girls and Boys, Men and Women, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you don’t like the above mentioned behaviors don’t come to my place for dinner or, instead of running away, just tell me that you have important business to do and leave after five minutes, it’s more polite. At least in some cultures –

He even developed some skills in pizza flying, just to confuse the ideas of the eaters...
He has even developed some skills in pizza flying, just to confuse the ideas of the victims…

I avoid feeling too much offended or thinking of others as bad, but words are stones, and thanks to persons like Giedre, in the inquisition time (or maybe still in some countries), people was burned up FOR REAL just because of ‘PURE INTUITION’.

While the pizza flies he is thinking about his next victim - CS Guest Alessandro Colombi from Milan.
While the pizza flies he is thinking about his next victim – CS Guest Alessandro Colombi from Milan.

Here the final evidence of the crime, uncovered, a video of the maniac assaulter (me) with his CS host Margaret & Pati, in Helsinki, Finland:

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PS. In case Giedre may have felt some compassion and closeness to the criminal girls of Riga which I was talking about. To fully inform the readers, I post the story of the criminal Riga Bar-Girls Scam I was saying to Gidre just before her exodus:
https://travelthetheater.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/riga-european-capital-of-the-scam-culture-2014/?preview_id=293

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