Ashley Madison says it’s adding new members despite hack

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ashley Madison Claims 87,596 Totally Real Women Who Are Definitely Real Just Signed Up.

Hundreds of thousands of new users joined the adultery website last week, its parent company said Monday — in spite of a major hack which left the personal information of millions of affair-seekers exposed. The group that claims to be behind the hack, The Impact Team, said it went after Ashley Madison in part because the site is a scam and has far fewer female members than it claims.

How is one supposed to imagine a future for it in the wake of a hack that led to the public shaming of many of the site’s members and the resignation of its parent company’s CEO? After Biderman refused to bend to the hackers’ demand to take Ashley Madison and another site offline, the perpetrators began to leak data stolen from the company’s networks.

New and returning female users sent 2.8 million messages during the same time period. “Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated,” Avid Life Media said in a statement. “Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing.” Hackers broke into the site’s data last month. A Gizmodo investigation corroborated that and found that only 12,000 of the 5.5 million female profiles on the adultery site belonged to living, breathing women. Reporting its death is a perfectly reasonable trap, one that I fell into when writing about the site last week, as I described what its users “had” done, operating on the implicit assumption that they wouldn’t be doing it anymore. At first, the data was only about Ashley Madison’s spouse-cheating customers, but last week, private emails from Biderman’s corporate account hit the web.

We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base.” The statement didn’t indicate the sudden reason for Biderman’s departure, but it comes days after revelations of Biderman’s alleged infidelities. Thousands of people using .gov and .mil email addresses, confessed molester and disgraced Christian TV icon Josh Duggar and even Ashley Madison’s own CEO Noel Biderman were all outed after allegedly using the affair site. “We have customers in nearly every zip code in the United States, as well as users in more than 50 countries around the world. Last week, Gizmodo’s Annalee Newitz analyzed data from the hack, and her results indicated that only 1,492 of its supposedly millions of female members had ever checked their messages on the site, suggesting an engagement rate of something like 0.03 percent. But despite encouraging other people to have affairs, Biderman, a married father with two young children, had long insisted that he had never cheated on his wife, nor did he want to. Approximately 70 percent of our revenue on any given day is from members making repeat purchases,” the company said in the statement. “We think that shows happy customers on a consistent basis.”

If those numbers turned you off, never fear: In its recent press release, Ashley Madison claims that 87,596 totally real women who are definitely real have signed up in the “past week alone.” In its specificity, this number is clearly meant to carry the weight of authority and truth. At the time of that interview, the leaked emails suggest he may have already been engaging in a three-year sexual relationship with a Toronto escort who may have been paid for her favors. Given the amount of publicity the site has received, it’s entirely possible that some new users created accounts, whether out of curiosity, intent to troll, or even real desire. Of course, if existing engagement ratios hold, only 26 of those definitely real women are ever going to take a gander at what other users write to them.

I talked to him this morning and my sense of guilt made me imagine that he knows.” Biderman appears to have offered her a job with the company, writing her in October that “I will also have a good ‘signing bonus’ for you :).” The woman later declined the job, however. If anything stands alone on Ashley Madison, it must be those relationships, most of which are likely still playing out only in the individual imaginations of its members.

WIRED was unable to determine if the specific emails suggesting infidelity are legitimate, but they were released with other files that have been verified.

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