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Hospitality Club censorship

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See also CouchSurfing censorship

Hospitality Club has been managed like a proper dictatorship since its inception. This includes the practice censorship.

Removal of profiles

guaka (talk)'s profile was removed in February 2008. He received a message "you seriously abused our rules as outlined on rules.hospitalityclub.org, therefore we had to terminate your membership to protect other members and our network Greetings, the Hospitality Club Abuse Team". And that's it. The profile deletion was probably for a link to BeWelcome on his profile. Several other BeWelcome volunteers saw their profiles on HC blocked.


Removal of messages

As of August 2006 Hospitality Club was still censoring its users. Messages containing the word "CouchSurfing" are considered "website promotion", which is considered spam, and thus deleted. Here's what Guaka got when he sent a message, only containing "Check out CouchSurfing my dear!", to amylin, who has her spamfilter turned off. Note that this is a big improvement from before, since members are actually informed about this censorship.

Hospitality Club Spamfilter: your message to amylin has been rejected

this is a semi-automatically generated message from the Hospitality Club spamfilter. If you believe that it is an error, please DO NOT reply to this message, rather contact the Hospitality Club Administrators who will take care of your issue by clicking here: http://secure.hospitalityclub.org/hc/contactmember.php?to=22777. However, since we volunteers all have a huge workload, please make sure to read the spam info at http://secure.hospitalityclub.org/hc/stopspam.php first which might already answer your question.

Thanks a lot for your cooperation!

The Hospitality Club http://www.hospitalityclub.org ...bringing people together!

======

We contact you because of the following issue: you sent one or more messages through the Hospitality Club which promoted websites (see your original message below). As is marked clearly on every message form and in the Rules (http://rules.hospitalityclub.org/) we consider these messages spam. Because of this our spam checkers stopped them, they were not sent out. If you want to promote your site a bit you can post in the Forum Topic "Links, Links, Links" (http://secure.hospitalityclub.org/hc/forum.php?SelectedCategory=21) or use other more appropriate channels on the net. Thanks a lot for your cooperation!

Greetings from the Hospitality Club Spam Checkers


Example of your original messages:

Date & Time: 2006-08-24 03:42:28
Check out CouchSurfing my dear!

-- The Hospitality Club ... bringing people together!

http://www.hospitalityclub.org

More to find out

It doesn't need an Internet-aware person to realize there is something wrong when a message with another web site in it gets censored. Possibly 30% of normal messages by normal people contain a link or a mention to some other website.

Let's see what happens with messages mentioning other websites such as:

  • "Do you think I can buy a sleeping bag on Ebay while I'm here?"
Safely arrived.
  • "You can use Google Maps for understanding which cities are closer"
Safely arrived.
  • "Have you ever used hitchhiking.wikia.com?"
Safely arrived.
  • "Have you seen globalfreeloaders.com?"
Safely arrived.
  • "This is where I live (with link to Google Maps)"
  • "I often use Flickr, I'll upload my photo there (link to your page on flickr)"
  • "I bookmark my links on del.icio.us, see (link to your del.icio.us page)"
  • "Do you use skype? You can download it for free at www.skype.com"
  • "Do you use yahoo messenger?"
  • "Have you seen servas.org?"
  • [paradoxical]
    • Q: "What is you blog address?"
    • A: "I would like to tell you but in this case my message will be considered spam and hence deleted, don't you know that web addresses cannot be comunicated on the web?"



Links

CS groups

  • www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=10&post=1013924 Warning about systematic censorship on the HC forum, May 14, 2008
  • www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=10&post=542120 HC/CS meeting censorship... November 30th, 2007


This article is based on text from the HospitalityGuide.net, available under the Creative Commons ShareAlike Attribution license.