According to CouchSurfing’s policies, reporting that a user has attempted sexual assault is not enough to ban him or her from the community.

“Because we are not there to witness events, we rely on members to talk about their experience with one another through references,” Safety Team Coordinator Rachel diCerbo eventually responded to Ulto. “We certainly empathize and will help people use the system…but we simply must maintain as much neutrality as possible.”

This policy of neutrality when resolving disputes requires formal documentation of at least one of three things: 1) a crime, 2) a breach of the Terms of Use, or 3) a violation of their safety policies. Though one could argue that CouchSurfing’s system is not actually neutral, and instead places the burden of proof on the person with a complaint…