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The hacking of the cheaters’ website Ashley Madison has been getting a ton of press for various reasons, some of which I care about and most of which I don’t. For instance, most outlets seem concerned with whose name is in the released data. As I mentioned in my previous video, Josh Duggar was one of those names, which is funny because he’s a giant hypocrite. But really, I don’t care. I really, truly don’t care what names are in that database, because it’s none of my business if someone wants to be a giant shit head who cheats on their spouse. And I think that if you search the database to see if your spouse is in there, you should probably go to counseling whether they are or not, because you guys have some serious relationship issues.
What I do find interesting about the leak is the privacy angle: for starters, it’s a huge, disgusting violation of privacy that some assholes got that data and released it. And secondarily, Ashley Madison as a company, it turns out, was charging people to delete their accounts and then still holding on to all their data, which is even more disgusting.
But here’s why I’m finally making a video about this whole scandal: Annalee Newitz over at Gizmodo has just published a fantastic piece of investigative journalism that shows that there were pretty much no women on that site at all. I’m not exaggerating. On its face, the site had 31 million men and 5.5 million women, so about 5 to 1, which is bad enough. But Newitz discovered that of those 5.5 million women, only 1,492 ever looked at a message in their inbox, compared to more than 20 million men. That means women accounted for less than .01% of all active users on the site.
Newitz also revealed that a huge percentage of the users’ IP addresses were loopback IPs, meaning they came from within Ashley Madison’s own servers, and many users also used Ashley Madison email addresses. An overwhelming majority of these were female, which is statistically significant considering that an overwhelming majority of all users are male.
In other words, it seems pretty damned convincing that the vast majority of female profiles were fakes, created to lure men into buying accounts, and then buying a deactivation when they realize nobody is responding to their messages.
Thinking about all that, I’ve had to completely reconsider the way I view Ashley Madison. Previously, I thought of it as a gross business where assholes made money by helping people lie to their partners and put them at risk of STDs.
But now I see I was all wrong: if anything, Ashley Madison was probably instrumental in saving many assholes’ marriages. Consider: a man decides he wants to cheat on his wife. He goes on Ashley Madison, a place famous for helping sexy people fuck around with other sexy people. He sees a bunch of hot women near him. He messages them, masturbates furiously at the thought of all the action he’s about to get, and then he waits. And waits. And waits. And eventually he thinks, wow, all these people are meeting each other and hooking up, and not a single woman will even read my messages. Surely I am the worse piece of shit on the planet. Maybe I should try to just work things out with the one person who actually agreed to marry me.
Bam. Marriage saved. Thanks Ashley Madison, for apparently conning a bunch of assholes out of money and maybe into couples counseling.