Tips for women travelers
Especially women have to take care of safety, read more here.
What could possibly go wrong?
Unpleasant experiences vary not a big deal (e.g. staying in a dirty place or loud guests or hosts at night) to much worse. We want to build features that allow people to rate their experience and later use that rating information so that similar (based on tagging) people will not have unpleasant experiences again with that person. E.g. very clean people will automatically avoid very dirty people, and party people will not easily be connected to people who prefer tranquility over Dionysian celebrations. Unless they choose otherwise of course, a conscious decision.
Violence is an extremely unpleasant experience (for most people).
We expect that most inherently violent people will cause unpleasant experiences before actual violence occurs. And that our system to prevent unpleasant experiences will also prevent violence.
There are some interesting cases, such as the famous Venetian wrestling contests - enforced by the host among various guests. A lot of people will consider this violence. We agree. But if it's obvious to potential guests that this is going to be their experience they should be free to go ahead.
Sexual abuse and harassment
This mainly affects solo traveling women, please read more here.
Back in 2014 we didn't think building an extended dedicated safety team is the solution. Prevention is key. As soon as there is sign of a person showing violent behavior their trust rating should go down which leads to some kind of seclusion.
In 2018 we think it's good to start building a team of people working on this. See also https://meta.trustroots.org/c/safety
Add functionality to let local people check in with guests at an appointed time, e.g. through phone numbers.
More safety advices
There is a very good article about safety on BeWelcome, http://www.bewelcome.org/safety.