😵 Couchsurfing is dead

— 2 minute read

Bye bye Couchsurfing, you've been good to me, you've hosted me all over Europe and Japan, trips I couldn't have afforded otherwise.

I met many friends. I met my wife. Those were good times.

My wife and I. We met through CouchSurfing
My wife and I. We met through CouchSurfing

But that's no more. Couchsurfing (with a lowercase s) is dead. Today I logged-in to the website, and wherever I go, I can only access this screen:

Couchsurfing contribution screen
Couchsurfing contribution screen

Mind you, if you're logged in, my profile is still available:

My profile on Couchsurfing
My profile on Couchsurfing

But if I click on "Edit my profile", I can't do anything, I can't change my status to "Not hosting". I'm presented the contribution screen.

So I'm being held hostage to access my own data. These guys managing the site are effectively putting a ransom on my own data. To say that this is extremely f*cked up is an understatement.

They say they hear us:

  1. Aren’t you holding my data hostage?

Nope. We understand some of you feel we are keeping your profiles “hostage” or require that you pay a “ransom”, and apologize for this. This was not the intention we had in trying to rally the community around saving Couchsurfing. We remain compliant with all privacy regulations. As has always been the case, you can ask for a copy of your data and to delete your account by contacting Couchsurfing Support at support@couchsurfing.com or through privacy@couchsurfing.com.

Yeah. Bullshit. Bullshit bullshit bullshit. I can't access my data in the website, I can't edit it, yet my profile is still publicly available.

Aren't these guys liable to be sued through GDPR? I hope they are, and I hope somebody punishes them. CouchSurfing (with uppercase S) was such a beautiful project. Until it was sold out to transform it into a business for personal profit, never mind the website was a community project

(Btw, in their "we hear you" blog post, they mention the word "community" 36 times. Funny. They suddenly remembered about their community... once COVID hit and they couldn't charge for ads any longer; once they could not milk the cow any longer).

I am so angry. These people running Couchsurfing ruined such a beautiful project.

I have requested to delete my user account from the site, including the almost 100 references from both surfing and hosting. 😢

I'd love to show a final screenshot of my reviews, but I can't access them. Or any of the 204 photos I've uploaded to the site, but I can't access any of them. Even though it's all my own data.

So I show my full-length profile instead, with the descriptions of how absurd had the CS site become after it became for-profit.

My profile on Couchsurfing
My profile on Couchsurfing