What are the reference guidelines?



The referencing system allows members to share information about their interactions with other members, enabling the community to make more informed decisions.

Couchsurfers who have hosted or stayed with other members are permitted to submit private feedback (to Couchsurfing) and public references for 14 days after a stay. Members must have a couch request with the “Yes” “Maybe” or “Confirmed” status in order to leave a Surf/Host reference. Other members may create references under the “Other” or “Friend” reference designations (as opposed to “Surf” or “Host”).

References should be accurate and relevant to the experience with the recipient.

Couchsurfing does not generally interfere with reference content left by members. In extremely rare circumstances, Couchsurfing may censor, temporarily hide, or remove reference content if it violates our Reference Guidelines. 

Reference Guidelines

A reference may be censored, temporarily hidden, or removed in the following cases:

  1. We are served with a court or law enforcement order to remove the reference
  2. The reference entirely reflects the experience of someone other than the author
  3. The reference discloses private contact information, medical condition, or legal circumstance
  4. The reference is false, in a meaningful way, according to information in the Couchsurfing system

Note: When contacting the Trust and Safety Team, the reporter should provide the false statement, and details of the exact location of the evidence within the Couchsurfing website.

    5. The reference is anonymous

Note: For example, left from a blank profile that was created only in order to leave the reference.

    6. There has been no direct interaction, either offline or over the Couchsurfing system, between the person writing the reference and the person receiving it.

    7. There are multiple references for the same confirmed visit from the same member. In this case, we will retain the first "Host/Surf" reference left.

If you've received a reference that falls under the above cases, please fill out the contact form and provide the details requested so our team can review. 

Couchsurfing is generally unable to verify the accuracy of references describing offline interactions, and will only act when a violation of this policy has occurred.

Couchsurfing members can only report references left on their own profile.

Note: Couchsurfing staff reserves the right to remove any reference that undermines the integrity of the Reference System.


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