DOT-E Rules

The following policies are in place to ensure that DOT-E remains a fun and safe place for everyone. Note: the policies below are enforced under Terms of DOT-E Services sections 4.1 and 4.2 and provided for further insight. Review the DOT-E Terms of Use in its entirety for complete details. Please also see our Privacy. Violations of these policies may result in a range of actions including, but not limited to:

  • Removal of violating content
  • Warning
  • Removal of access to elements of the site or features
  • Temporary or permanent Profile deactivation

Conduct Policy

1. Don’t Look for a Date: Our members join DOT-E to create friendships. Don’t contact other members for dating, or use the site to find sexual partners. We take reports of unwanted sexual advances, both online and offline, seriously and they may be considered serious violations of our Conduct policy. This may include, but is not limited to, systematic attempts to contact other members about non-hosting related matters and sexually suggestive behavior. Respect others’ boundaries. If another users let you know they are uncomfortable, respect their feelings and take a step back and try to solve the matter.

2. Don’t Spam: We value human interaction and want the content on our site and sent to our members to be personalized and valuable. Copying and pasting the same message across the site, in member-to-member messages or in Hospitality Requests is not permitted. Messaging many members that have not shown an intent to receive the type of message your sending may also be considered spam.

3. Don’t Intimidate, Stalk, or Harass: Stalking, intimidation, threats, and harassment of other members is prohibited. Harassment is defined as a pattern of offensive behavior that appears to have the purpose of adversely affecting a targeted person or persons. Examples of harassment include making threats, repeated unwanted contacts with a person, and posting the personal information of another person. DOT-E reserves the right to take action (see above) on profiles we believe may pose a threat to future hosts, or the DOT-E community.

4. Don’t Charge for Your Hospitality: Our community offers free exchange of hospitality. Asking for money or labor in exchange for your hospitality, or referring members to paid accommodation services, is not permitted.

5. Do Create Only One Profile: Duplicate, fake, and joke profiles are not allowed. The first profile that you create must be you and is the only one that you may have. Our network needs everyone to stand by their reputation.

6. Don’t Force Your Beliefs and Lifestyle Choices on Others: DOT-E is proud of the diversity of its members. Using our platform to recruit other members to join your lifestyle or belief system may be a violation of our Conduct policy. Don’t make the adoption of your lifestyle or belief system a condition of your host offers. While certain house rules are expected, if we believe that the conditions imposed on the host introduce risk, harms the experience of our members, or damages the reputation of DOT-E, we reserve at our own discretion the right to prohibit the requirement and adopt the relevant measures.

7. Be Yourself: Misrepresenting yourself as someone else is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to representation as an agent, representative, employee, or affiliate of DOT-E.

8. Do Use DOT-E Properly: Using DOT-E in a way that could interfere with other members from fully enjoying the site or that could impair the functioning of the site is prohibited. This includes behavior that causes excessive reports, flags, or blocks from other members. We may prohibit proactive outreach on communications that are flagged by DOT-E members or that we believe harm the experience for other users. Additionally, posting anything to the site that includes viruses, corrupted data, or other potentially harmful code. Attempting to circumvent DOT-E systems, or using these systems in a manner which undermines their intent, is not allowed and therefore is prohibited.

9. Keep It Full Legal: Don’t engage in nor encourage any illegal activity; don’t violate any applicable law or regulation.

Reference Policy

The referencing system allows members to share information about their interactions with other members, enabling the community to make more informed decisions. Users who have hosted or stayed with other members are permitted to submit feedback (to DOT-E). Members must have a host request with the “Confirmed” status in order to leave a match reference. References should be accurate and relevant to the experience with the recipient. Any activities that undermine the integrity of the Feedback System are a violation of DOT-E rules and Terms of Use. DOT-E does not generally interfere with reference content left by members. In extremely rare circumstances, DOT-E may censor, temporarily hide, or remove reference content if it violates our DOT-E rules. A reference may be censored, temporarily hidden, or removed in the following cases:
1. False Reference: The reference is false, in a meaningful way, according to information in the DOT-E system
2. Order To Remove: We are served with a court or law enforcement order to remove the reference
3. Not The Author: The reference entirely reflects the experience of someone other than the author
4. Anonymous: The reference is anonymous
5. Multiple References: There are multiple references for the same confirmed visit from the same member. In this case, we will retain the first “Match” reference left.
6. Private Information: The reference discloses private contact information, medical condition, or any legal circumstance
7. No Contact: There has been no direct interaction, either offline or over the Couchsurfing system, between the person writing the reference and the person receiving it
If you’ve received a reference that falls under the above cases, please contact us by email at Please include a link to your profile, the name of the member whose reference you are disputing, and the exact guideline(s) you believe this reference violates. DOT-E is generally unable to verify the accuracy of references describing offline interactions, and only act when a violation of this this policy has occurred. DOT-E members can only report references left on their own profile. Finally Dot-E will reserve any right to take any action, but not limited to remove any reference that will cause or affect the integrity of its system.

Content Of Rules

Content that we believe, in our sole discretion, falls into any of the following categories is prohibited:
1. Sexually Explicit Content: Contains nudity, sexually explicit content or is otherwise obscene, sexually exploitive of minors, pornographic, indecent, lewd, or suggestive
2. Illegal and Infringing: Unlawful content or content for which DOT-E has received a court order to remove, or content that infringes on the rights of a third party, including intellectual property, privacy, publicity or contractual rights
3. Hate Speech and Offensive Language: Hate speech, particularly speech that disparages any ethnic, racial, sexual or religious group by stereotypical depiction or is otherwise abusive or inflammatory, including but not limited to content that contains offensive language or images
4. Glamorizing Violence: Incites violence or characterizes violence as acceptable, glamorous or desirable
5. Personally Identifiable Information: Contains private or personal information about another person, such as phone number or address unless with the prior consent is given
6. Commercial or Promotional: Contains unsolicited promotions, political campaigning, advertising or solicitations - including content used to promote a business or product - without our prior written consent
Reporting violations of DOT-E Policies. If you feel another person is violating this policy, use the Report tools available in the screen in order to post the event. You can also contact us by email at