Image Source: Ashley Madison via All the Hits 107.3.
The Ashley Madison adultery site hack was a surreal lesson in cyberethics. The weirdest fact to emerge was that most of the women on the site were not real. To sign up for these online "guaranteed affairs," many male users were deluded enough to romance Matrix-like illusions driven by computer programs. That meant that they were really only engaging with themselves. These men may not have had real affairs. That does not make the situation better, because what they did was worse. They lost their grip on reality in exchange for a fantasy about their erotic selves. They paid to make love to bots constructed to reflect their own fantasies back at them, while they created the potential to ruin their reputations, their morality, their families and their marriages. In this regard, this site is and was an elaborate machine for erotic-ego-auto-response. Ashley Madison is and was a big, horrible mirror which has allowed its deceived male users to use fembots in an act of self-annihilation. The hackers, Impact Team, had this to say:
Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men. We have explained the fraud, deceit, and stupidity of ALM and their members. Now everyone gets to see their data. Find someone you know in here? Keep in mind the site is a scam with thousands of fake female profiles. See ashley madison fake profile lawsuit; 90-95% of actual users are male. Chances are your man signed up on the world's biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters. Find yourself in here? It was ALM that failed you and lied to you. Prosecute them and claim damages. Then move on with your life. Learn your lesson and make amends. Embarrassing now, but you'll get over it.
Image Source: Motherboard.
According to this report from Bustle, Impact Team seemed to target Ashley Madison vengefully, as though the hackers had a private reason to attack the company. A BBC report quoted the former Avid Life Media CEO, Noel Biderman, who speculated that at least one of the hackers had had some connection with the company. The hack may have been a vendetta, since the hackers remarked that they would target any company or politician making "100s of millions profiting off pain of others." They told Motherboard that they started the hack a long time ago, and they regarded the site's customers as addicts:
It looks like the hackers were not dealing out abstract hacktivist justice but had personal reasons to bring down this Website. At least the Impact Team could rely on a public backlash against Ashley Madison. Adultery with bots is still shocking, so this example tells us where we are at the moment in terms of cyber-ethics and cyber-consciousness.We were in Avid Life Media a long time to understand and get everything. Finally we watched Ashley Madison signups growing and human trafficking on the sites. Everyone is saying 37 million! Blackmail users! We didn't blackmail users. Avid Life Media blackmailed them. But any hacking team could have. We did it to stop the next 60 million. Avid Life Media is like a drug dealer abusing addicts.
Ashley Madison was planning a new app called, 'What's Your Wife Worth?' Image Source: Boing Boing.