|The Hospitality Club is the world's largest hospitality exchange organization. We are thousands of friendly members world wide who offer each other free accommodation when traveling. Membership is free and joining just takes a minute - we would love to have you onboard!|
Stop Spam in the Hospitality Club
One of the most important rules in the club is this one: do not spam! We are putting lots of thought, time and energy into keeping the network spam-free. Please take a minute to read these lines, before you send your messages.
What is spam?
Luckily, we do not have the same kind of spam in the Hospitality Club you get in your email every day (eg. "buy cheap viagra" and such). But we do have "intelligent spam" - there is a lot of personal info in the profiles and some people abuse this. Before you send messages, please ask yourself: did we found the club for this? We founded it to bring people together, to help you meet people face to face when you travel, to stay with a local for a couple of nights. Messages that are not related to the aim of the Hospitality Club are spam! You are always welcome to contact other members to stay with them or to meet them, but you should never abuse them as visa/job/real estate agents. If you have doubts about your message, simply ask us using the Feedback Form - we are always happy to help.
Which is the most common spam?
There are some types of spam we see and stop quite often in the club:
Dating: some people really mistake the club for a flirting/partner finding platform.
Visa requests: people need visa invitations for many countries, and they try to find members who send them one. Instead, you could try the forum category Visa Issues to see if someone wants to help you.
Strange invitations: People writing non-specific, strange invitations without any reason to other members. We have to assume that those people might have a hidden agenda which will appear later when the members meet each other or when the communication continues. We provide numerous better possibilities to get more guests: join the Group Want more guests, post in the forum category Meeting Place or come into the Hospitality Club Chat Room to talk to and invite other friendly members.
Website and business promotions: messages that are sent to promote other websites or business opportunities. A suitable place for this might be the forum category Links, Links, Links.
Flat and job searches: people sending messages to members asking for help to find an appartment or a job. A suitable place for this is the forum category Work and Appartments.
Secretary work: some people write a huge number of messages just to find a phone number or a driving school for them. Again, the regional forum categories might be the right place for such things.
Another person: members give their account to other people or write on behalf of other people who are not members. While not really spam and often well meant - HC rule number 1 clearly says: "The Hospitality Club is for members only." One person, one account. And signing up is really easy.
Unclear purpose: some people just don't tell what they want from the members they contact. Thus we have to assume that they might want something which is not related to the purpose of the HC. Or maybe they are just looking for an e-penpal, but write hundreds of non-specific messages. In this case, the Group Penpals, the forum and the chat might be the right places.
We have collected lots of interesting messages people tried to send through the club in the Spammer Hall of Fame.
Why is spam so bad?
We understand that it can be difficult to find a flat in New York. And we understand that it can be hard finding a temporary job in London. Or that it is almost impossible to get a visa for a EU country without an invitation. Everyone has legitimate interests. But our goal is to build a platform for friendly people to meet each other and to exchange short term accommodation. We did not create the HC as an intership or visa agency. And most members did not join to get those requests. Imagine, if you lived in Paris and got these requests (not related to the aim of the Hospitality Club) every day. After a short while you would drop out of the club thinking it is full of egoistic people who only care about themselves. Spam erodes the confidence in the club, and will destroy it in the long run. That's the reason why we are so serious about it. So please, use other, more appropriate channels for your other issues - the HC is a wonderful tool for meeting friendly people and finding accommodation while you travel, so please use it for that!
How do we fight spam?
To make sure you never receive any spam because of your membership in the Hospitality Club, we use a special secure message mechanism. Your email address is stored encrypted in the database and not displayed on the site. You can always communicate through the site and never have to give out your email address. A team of volunteers monitors all messages sent through the club for spam. Whenever we see spam, we stop it. If a spam messages slips through and you do get it, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will deal with the problem. Also, feel free to post a comment in the spammer's profile so other members are warned.