Originally published: 12.09.15
Content note: this post includes some explicit sexual material which readers may find offensive and/or distressing.
‘Life is short. Have an affair’.
That was the sales pitch for Ashley Madison, the website for people seeking ‘discreet’ extra-marital sex that recently came to grief after hackers dumped a load of its users’ personal data on the web. It turned out that the website was basically running a scam. Straight men, the majority of site-users, were paying to hook up with women who did not, for the most part, exist. Real women did use the site, but they were massively outnumbered by fake ones. Profiles were cobbled together by employees, and then animated by an army of bots which bombarded male subscribers with messages.
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