First Couchsurfing event in Istanbul which made me suspended

On the 23rd of November, my friend Ali(from Istanbul) and I decided to have an even on Couchsurfing in Istanbul and gather people from all around the world together. We made an event on CS, everything was going well until three days to the event, I woke up and saw one of my friend’s asking: “Did you cancel the event?” with circled eyes I opened the event page and found out, YES, both Ali and I are suspended in Couchsurfing.

I am an active Couchsurfer, which means I hosted more than 30 people in our home from different countries and I have more than 50 references. what was the problem? We kept emailing the support team and begging them to unsuspend us. We explained everything and we find out we are suspended because we provide a Whatsapp join group link on our event. Although I am active for like 5 years on CS, I never knew it was against the terms.

I see so many people provide the WhatsApp link on the event because the event and hangout message option doesn’t work properly and we usually cannot connect easily with people. I am addressing the Couchsurfing product manager here! please redesign the messaging feature!

Our emails didn’t have any result and while I am writing this blog post, we are still suspended! Our punishment is 10 days of suspension. For people who are addicted to CS community, it is not fair to be banned. 🙁

Anyway, with the help of other Couchsurfing members, we made a new CS event and fortunately more than 10 people came to the event. It was in a cafe near Istanbul University. It took a while until everyone came.
There were people from Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Ukraine, Iraq, and Germany. We kept introducing ourselves in a loop every 15 minutes a new friend joined us. 🙂

We talked about almost everything, seeing people with totally different background and mindset gathering while laughing and talking about cultural differences and similarities without any judgment was really fascinating to me. Once again I remembered why I love this website.

We are happy that with all the troubles we had, finally, we could organize this event. I am mad at CouchSurfing but still, love it. I cannot forget all the great experiences I had with it, and looking forward to getting back to the community soon.

We are already thinking about the next event and I hope to see you all.

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