Profile Comment Guidelines
BeWelcome members have the possibility and are encouraged to write comments about other members with whom they have interacted. The purpose of this profile comment system is to let the community know what kind of experiences others have had with a member. Sharing one's experience helps other members to assess, whether they themselves would enjoy interacting with this member, e.g. meet, host or be hosted. Honest profile comments are very important to keep the community as safe as possible.
When you are writing a profile comment, please follow these guidelines:
- The main purpose of comments is to inform others about your personal experience with a specific member. It is not a message to the person you are writing a comment about, so please do not address the person directly (do not write “you”).
- Only write a comment if you have a personal experience with another member that you believe will be useful for others to know about, especially when you have hosted or been hosted. Do not write a comment for someone you have only seen briefly and only had a few words with.
- Comments must be factual and about your own personal experience with that member.
- Ask yourself what information you would have liked to have before interacting with the member and which could be useful for others.
- If your overall experience was neither really good nor really bad but had about as many good as bad aspects to it, you can categorize your comment as “neutral”. If you don’t really have anything to say about another member do not leave a comment. Wait until you do have something useful to share.
- Describe your experience and how you felt about it rather than judge the person. For instance, write “I enjoyed (or I felt uncomfortable with) John’s sense of humour” rather than “John has a great (or bad) sense of humour”. Sticking to the facts and describing calmly how you experienced a contact with the member lowers the risk of dispute and of retaliation by that member with a contradicting version.
- Do not speculate on the kind of experience others may have with the member. Only describe your own experience.
- Insults and threats will not be tolerated.
- Do not disclose any sensitive private information about the other member or anybody else.
- Do not publish private communication from email messages or chats. If what the member wrote to you is relevant for your comment, please share it in your own words instead.
- Write as much as necessary and as little as possible. The length of the comment is not limited but we ask you to keep it as short as possible to increase the probability that others will actually read it. Do not link to external files or websites for “the whole story”. Your comment should be informative and clear enough to get an understanding of your experience without having to consult further sources.
- Make sure the person you are writing a comment about knows who you are – we do not allow anonymous comments.
If you are the victim of a crime, please contact the local police and file a police report as soon as you can do so safely. Please inform the BeWelcome Safety Team of any crime committed by a member as soon as you become aware of it and forward any supporting evidence you may have, such as the corresponding police report. You can contact us through the contact form or at safety [at] bewelcome [dot] org.
If a member contacts you with a spam message, please report the message by clicking on “report as spam” in your BeWelcome inbox. There is no need to write a comment on that person’s profile.
We may hide a comment and ask the member to edit it if it does not follow these guidelines and especially if
- the information given in the comment is verifiably false or speculative;
- the comment judges the member’s character instead of describing a specific situation or experience;
- the comment contains insults, threats, or offensive language;
- the person is being accused of a criminal offense and the writer cannot provide proof or convincing substantiation, such as credible independent testimony, for the accusations or at least a copy of the police report;
- the comment is retaliatory; i.e. only written because the author has received a negative comment, not because he or she has had a negative experience;
- the comment contains private contact information or other sensitive or irrelevant private data such as gossip;
- the comment contains links to external sources.
We may remove a comment completely, especially if
- it is a spam comment;
- the person is writing on behalf of somebody else;
- the writer obviously never interacted with the other member at all;
- the comment is repeatedly and unnecessarily updated;
- the comment is written anonymously or by a profile set up merely to leave this comment;
- the comment is about the work of a BeWelcome volunteer.
Please understand that the Safety Team is like a neutral referee and cannot take sides in personal disputes between members without clear evidence of which accusations are accurate or not. Since we were not there to witness the interaction we usually cannot know what happened. Everyone is allowed to tell their side of the story and we do not interfere as long as the profile comment is within our guidelines.
For more information or help regarding profile comments, please contact the Safety Team through the contact form or by sending an e-mail to safety [at] bewelcome [dot] org. If you are unsure whether a comment you plan to leave for another member respects the guidelines, you can submit your draft for review before you post it.