This site was archived on 24 April 2012. No new content can be posted. The mailing list remains online and the site will stay in this archived state for the forseeable future. If you find any technical errors on the site, please contact Callum.

Verification ticks on images

Today I noticed that a green tick now appears on the images of CouchSurfing members who have paid for verification. I notice these ticks on groups, I assume they’re all over the site. Wherever you see a thumbnail picture of a person, it marks who have paid and who have not.

This continues what Jim Stone started back in New Zealand all those years ago. A campaign to drive verification revenues ever higher. Given that you only need to pay once to become “verified”, CouchSurfing International Inc rely only on a continual stream of new members to make “donations”. If they can increase the percentage of people “donating”, more money for the coffers.

Perhaps we can subvert this new feature by framing our own profile pictures and adding a different symbol to donate that we opt out of the so-called “verification” system. We could even combine that with a real verification system based on the verification of actual identity and physical location. Food for thought… :-)

18 Responses to “Verification ticks on images”

  • I want a small icon with ‘I don’t even WANT to be verified’ in my profile pic ;)

  • I posted a comment already before but somehow it didn’t show up as I see now.
    Anyway I’ll try to remember what I had in mind. :)
    I saw these icons yesterday as well and I don’t really like them. That’s why I won’t verify my address again and stay lvl2 therefor.
    I have been one of the members who verified years ago after joining CS right away (after I quit using HC). I thought it would increase safety and help developing the web site (design, organisation, etc). But that hasn’t happend till yet. But after gaining some insight on CS after I’ve been a member for a few months I regret having gone through the verification process really quick.
    Everybody who’s new on CS or not verified was always asking me about the verification logo they had before and I always told them not to verify as it’s just a waste of money…

  • Why are you against verification? It makes the community safer. Are you against making the community safer?

    Also, it is the only source of revenue for CS. How would CS pay its bills without it? Maintaining an organziation as large as CS isn’t free, you know.

    You guys are a lot better at complaining than you are at suggesting constructive alternatives.

  • Amused, the community has suggested alternatives. They say CS should move towards a donation model where members are encouraged to donate regularly, unlike verification which is paid only once. Unfortunately, there is a dark side to their designs: they demand we all refuse to donate unless the Leadership Team completely gives up all they’ve achieved for no good reason, just to placate a bunch of old people who get angry if someone gets by and lives happily without a 9 to 5 job in an office. Though the site was dedicated to travel and partying, it’s somehow offensive to them that the LT is doing just that, and if their plans were implemented the site would be in pretty bad state financially.

    I myself just hope Casey is putting away as much money as he can in the meantime. If he’s been wise with his money so far, he could take Couchsurfing down right now but still keep his active lifestyle and never have to work again. The fact that he’s still working at this suggests he made some slipups, but I hope he gets where he’s going soon.

  • ouch

    Casey and Matthew have said, time and again, that they cannot sell the site because it is a public charity and, as such, belongs to the public. They want to emphasize the fact that, not only do they not want to make a killing on the community, they cannot.

    I’m old :) so I guess I’m among those derided by No Surprises…but I don’t care if people travel and party. I agree with a donation-based financial architecture because this doesn’t rely upon unhealthy rates of growth for income. I have donated to CS in the past, and will donate again, once they iron out a few details that I require of the charities to which I contribute. Those of us with deeper pockets can be enticed to give…but need the assurances that our money is being used wisely that other, more established charities, provide. I encourage CS to provide those assurances so to not rely solely upon verification income.

    …and regular employment is not necessarily a sign of having “slipped-up”. Some of us enjoy our work because our efforts enrich our community and provide meaningful purpose to our life:)

  • oh dear.. not only do they tick and emphasise profile pictures that happen to have a credit card at some point in their life, but now there is a big fat “Name and Location Unverified” warning on my profile. sure i am verified — whatever that means to anyone anyway — by the people that i hosted, met and that i stayed with!

    do i really want to have a profile at a website that makes me look like some suspicious tramp? (which i am in fact, hehe)

    why do i get the feeling that right now the cs owners just want to rake it in and get done with it, not caring what their network of trust is developing into?

  • gimp is fun: add a right and bottom border to your pic with rgb-color fbf7ec (cs-background) to your user picture and place a “verify-symbol” of your choice – like io’s – in the right bottom corner. that’s it – you’re verified.

    to get rid off the official verifications stuff follow the tips here:
    (a bit of adblocking does the job pretty well).

  • Thanks for the advice, midsch! Great! (maybe add this link to the post?)

  • Keeping the money rolling in… shame that it down grades (actually does it?) and stigmatizes all the people that do not verify this way to second class citizens. I guess there are better models for funding (e.g. donation based, pro features that really rock) as well for verification (e.g. no social pressure, mobile text message)…

    Can somebody put up a script (similar to this that easily adds three nice ticks or something that shows somehow that people are verified in another way?

    Anyhow, does anybody know what reason the to switch has?


  • some guys have made a checkmark generator:

  • Here’s a slide show for educating CouchSurfers about “verification” and which you can use freely:

    an animated image should display here

    The html code:

    <img src=”” alt=”an animated image should display here” />

  • “Methinks she doth protest too much…”

    So almost 95% of Couch Surf members are unverified. An interesting statistic. Who know what verification does for safety? The opponents of verification say they don’t know (because Couch Surfing doesn’t publish any evidence one way or the other).

    On the whole, after reading all the comments, and waiting for the GIF to cycle through all the arguments of the slide show, I don’t think this is much of an issue.

    If 95% percent of Couch Surf members don’t get verified, it’s hard for me to picture them all as an oppressed minority.

    This is my first post. I don’t know how they are signed, or whether I can edit after I hit submit. So… I will put my John Hancock on the bottom.

    John Carragee
    Kiev, Ukraine

  • The fact that only 5% of users are willing to donate/verify themselves is probably the greatest indictment on this demographic of freeloaders.

    I’m appalled by couchsurfers.

  • So appalled that you keep coming back here again and again. Don’t you have a hostel to run?

  • WOW! I am used to paying for what I want. I am in hospitalityclub too. I belong to which costs £25 a year. Much smaller membership than CS. Born of the snailmail age. 25 years ago. Just some members are on line.
    I am amazed and incredulous that only 5% of CS have paid.

    I think CS is a great idea. Lots of beautiful people come into my life. Even if only for a transient time. There isn’t room in my life for them all to stay for ever. I paid the once when I joined. No problem. No ethical problem compromise either.It is good value. Am I missing something? brighteyes2

  • We’re a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable activity and our whole neighborhood might be thankful to you.

Comments are currently closed.