General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Ashley Madison is a 'dating' site for married couples that want to cheat on their spouses. Apparently they have been hacked and the hacker is threatening to release all 37 million names, unless the site closes up shop. Is this good or bad?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28883points) July 20th, 2015

On the one hand, it’s extortion pure and simple, And potentially extortion that will lead to tens of millions of divorces and countless domestic fights.

On the other hand, it’s hard to argue that Ashley Madison, despite being completely legal, is a positive thing.

What’s your take?

[Observation—37 million names is one heck of a large percentage of the adult population of the US.]

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

34 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

While I don’t condone what people do on that site. I find it weird that our right wing friends say we all have a free will to go through life with, yeah sure as long as it meets their views,if it doesn’t then they will force theirs on you, pretty cool huh?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

A cheating site with 37 million clients? That’s kind of sad. I’d say screw it, let them publish the names.

zenvelo's avatar

“Oh, Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

Really, if one is going to have an affair via Ashley Madison, or match, or OkCupid, or even Jdate, one must be prepared for having it come to light one way or another. Your SO might check whatever the hacker publishes, or they just might see the emails and texts you get.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe – I sort of hope so, too. I’m not married, so it wouldn’t really worry me, but I would definitely go looking for some of my friends’ names (both male and female) to see who is fooling around.

And I would particularly being looking for some of the more devoutly religious peoples’ names…

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@elbanditoroso I hadn’t thought of that angle. We could get a real Peyton Place going here between you, me, and the hacker.

jca's avatar

I heard about this on the radio. I am sure there are a lot of people very nervous right now. I wonder what the hackers want? Money?

People have a lot of reasons for cheating. I don’t think it’s up to anyone to judge them. I often read that people like to say “I don’t judge” and then in regards to cheating, they judge.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jca Well a satisfied dog doesn’t stray. So there’s two sides to the cheating.

jca's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe: Yes, I definitely agree! I hear both sides from my friends and coworkers.

Pachy's avatar

The site members have no one to blame but themselves—not only for cheating, but for doing it via the Web. I have no sympathy for ‘em.

bossob's avatar

Diamonds are forever, and so is information on the internet.

You can bet some of those same people have admonished their children for posting personal information and pictures that might might follow them through life. When we will learn?

Lawn's avatar

I can envision a hypothetical scenario where Google is hacked and the hacker threatens to post individual Google search results. Under that scenario, I wouldn’t want my search results posted to the world. Therefore, it would be hypocritical for me to judge these people.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@bossob – A Freudian thinker would say that there are no accidents and that the Ashley Madison participant secretly wants to be caught and exposed.

keobooks's avatar

At least the cheaters are going to a site specifically for that purpose. At least 2 – 3 times on I got matched and later found out the guy was married. (Whenever you see “it’s complicated” as a relationship status, it’s a BAD sign) The worst one was a guy I almost met, but a blizzard came down the night we were supposed to meet. He called me to cancel. I had already emailed him to cancel, but he hadn’t read it yet. As we were talking, I heard a baby crying in the background. I asked about it and he said “It’s my son. He’s hungry.” I offered to let him go so he could feed his son and he said, “No, my wife is breast feeding him, so she has to feed him.” He couldn’t figure out why I hung up and never answered his emails again. He kept telling me that things were complicated. I didn’t think it was complicated. He was married with a newborn baby…. duh..

Anyway.. Hackers aren’t known for having high morals. I don’t think they care one way or another about the 37 million people. They just like hacking into things and holding things over the companies they hack.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@keobooks – in addition to being a total ass, the guy you described was a complete idiot.

jca's avatar

@keobooks: I don’t go on dating sites and that’s the reason why. Friends who did told me they’re full of married guys parading as single.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@keobooks OMG, he didn’t get it? That one cracks me up.

Coloma's avatar

The hacker is probably someone who has been duped by their cheating spouse on this site.
I say let ‘em expose everyone, if you have nothing to hide you hide nothing. I don’t condone extortion but I also don’t condone cheating so I feel the hacker is less guilty than the thousands of cheaters he/she will expose.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Either the site should close or the hacker should publish the names. The existence of the site itself is just unacceptable. Somebody out there is actively encouraging a wrong thing and it needs to be stopped.

You don’t like your s/o anymore? Just tell them straight what you think and leave them. What’s the point of cheating?

ragingloli's avatar

Is having an affair illegal? No, it is not.
Is black mail illegal? Yes, it is.
Is unauthorised and forceful entry into a secured database illegal? Yes, it is.

The situation is crystal clear.

josie's avatar

Hacking is a serious crime
The threat to close up or else is extortion, also a serious crime.
Marital infidelity is shitty, but it is not a crime.
Seems like a poor risk/reward proposition
If I were the hacker, I would get out of virtual town asap

Coloma's avatar

@ragingloli It’s legal to hire a PI to track your spouse for cheating so really, even if hacking is illegal there isn’t much difference if one wants to claim breach of privacy. Their is right and wrong and then there is the law and often they don’t synch up very well. haha

cazzie's avatar

I think they should hack into what @Hypocrisy_Central just alerted me too, and that is the child soft-porn on the internet. Hack and expose and prosecute. It isn’t illegal to cheat on your spouse, just dumb, but child pornography IS illegal.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Of the 37 million you can expect only 5% to be real. A woman recently charged Ashley M with fraud because she was hired to make up and enter as many as 25 fake profiles per day. She would grab photos from anywhere and make up profile descriptions. They want people who do a casual search to find many choices and then be tempted to sign up. They will let you sign in for free BUT charge you a fee to cancel the account. Otherwise they keep sending you junk mail forever. The site is a fraud.
Read some of these complaints .

marinelife's avatar

Well, it’s a free country, and people are free to cheat, but I don’t have to like a web site that facilitates it. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of people!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Evidently the 37 million user number is way overstated. One of the complaints in LuckyGuys answer said she was hired to make up fake profiles, like 25 per day.

Berserker's avatar

Jeez. You can’t force people to be loyal. If it wasn’t for that site, they would find some other site, or a callgirl site or whatever. The people who truly love each other will stick together.

If the site is legal, and it is, what’s happening to it is shit. Whether one likes the idea or not, it has the right to be there. Mainly, I agree with ragingloli and josie.

However, if LuckyGuy is right, then it should be shut down because it’s fraud and spam. But I don’t know where those two stand on laws, fraud ok, but spam…that’s pretty legal.
Just trying to stay neutral here.

Buttonstc's avatar

When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences. I have no sympathy for those using the site who get exposed.

If your marriage relationship is so bad you consider resorting to cheating, do the straightforward thing and end it already. Then you are free to date as many as you choose.

Even tho it’s legal, doesnt mean it’s right. Cheating is the cowards way out. So you deserve whatever comes your way. It’s known as consequences. Deal with it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Should there be a site like that? Don’t think so. Should the names be released if indeed the site has been hacked? No, some of the people might have set up an account to muse over it or even if they had the thought to, never committed adultery and their marriage might be ruined if it was OK or even on rocky legs. I think in the end, they will pay a boat load of money to an off shore account and the threat will go away.

cheebdragon's avatar

It’s a good time to be a divorce lawyer.

keobooks's avatar

Just wanted to plug. OKCupid was the best site. It was free—I don’t even think there was a pay option at all at the time. Not only did I meet my husband there, but I never once encountered a married guy. Just the opposite-I found lots of guys with little to no dating experience compared to their age. I still get mail now and then, but it’s not spam. Every now and then, my very inactive account gets a hit still! I’ve been with my husband almost a decade.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m indifferent. My name isn’t in there, and I don’t care if a cheater gets caught. It might cause a divorce or too, but it might set some spouses free from their wondering if their spouse is cheating. If they release the names who is going to check the list? Probably mostly people who don’t trust their spouse. Usually, the lack of trust is warranted.

Seems to me that technically the website is legal and extortion, hacking, and blackmail aren’t. If I’m right, why would someone release the names and risk being sued or prosecuted? I don’t really know how those laws work, but it seems not worth the risk.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m waiting for the spoof website that will show if your neighbors are on the AshMad list.
A woman at work fell for the nonsense that you could find sex offenders by going to a certain site. If you clicked on it , sure enough, there would be a few houses in the area marked in red. However, If you clicked it again, different houses would be marked. It was like a random number generator. But it scared the crap out of her. It also gave the scammer her home address so it would duly flag her house if anyone was dumb enough to look.
I figure it will take about a week for someone to start the same thing with AshMad.

Zaku's avatar

It’s amazing too how negative or private data on the Internet is treated as entirely reliable by some trains of thought.

But pranksters and upset exes create a lot of disinformation, as do companies (as josie mentioned), and bored people. Somehow, my credit report thinks I once owned a house in a state I’ve only ever passed through, etc.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Zaku I have had a similar experience. Over 10 years ago someone used my SS number and info and opened an account in Michigan where they funneled checks. I have never lived in Michigan. I found out about it when I was audited by the IRS for not claiming about $50k in income payments. It was clear I did not have a clue and was a victim of identity theft. They really helped a lot. (Thank you IRS and the agent you assigned to help me! She was wonderful! Seriously!)
Today, when I occasionally have to prove who I am, the security questions sometimes have that bogus address – and I must say “Yes” to be authenticated!

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