Ortiz: Ashley Madison: Who’s to Blame?

Cierra Ortiz

Ashley Madison is a website where you can go to find an extramarital relationship and it just might’ve been the best cheat site in the world — until it got leaked. On the site, people can make basic profiles in search of someone to take up as a boyfriend, girlfriend or any other type of relationship in addition to being married already. The site itself is pretty disturbing. Not only because of its core concept of unfaithful behavior, but also due to one journalist’s experience with the site. Tech Inside reporter Molly Mulshine created a profile on Ashley Madison to complete a review for the site.

Not only is it ridiculous that, according to Mulshine’s article, women’s membership cost is $0 and men must pay at least $49 a month for some kind of site-specific credit which allows use; the site’s profile creation also involves a body type explanation (ex. Curvy, “a few extra pounds”, slim etc.), a “what turns me on” checklist, a seemingly generic personal interests section including “strip poker/adult games” and “visiting adult swing clubs” and an intimate desires checklist.

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In addition to the awkward and honestly raunchy sections involved in creating a profile, there is also an Ashley Madison blog with some pretty terrible advice. For example, one of the articles pictured in Mulshine’s article is titled “When in Doubt, Whip it Out” and is exactly what it sounds like. Another article featured in her story is titled “Men not Bothered by the Idea of Wives’ Infidelity”. Personally, I’d like to see the site’s counseling license or at least some instances when this disturbing advice worked well for someone.

One positive thing about the site is the ease of concealing your identity in your photographs. I mean, you can literally place a masquerade mask on your face to help protect your true identity. Let’s face it, if your spouse was looking for you on the site, there’s absolutely no way they would be able to recognize your face behind a tiny mask, right?

In 2001, the site was launched by Noel Biderman and his wife and blew up after its acquisition by Avid Life Media in 2007. The site continued to grow into a hundred-million-dollar business.

His journey with cheating began when he finished law school and became a sports attorney working as an agent for athletes. Not surprisingly, his career turned into assisting athletes with juggling their significant other and their mistresses. It is from this point that Ashley Madison became a real possibility as a business.

Everything with the site went great until summer of 2015, when a group of hackers leaked the profiles details of around 35 million members. It is known as one of the biggest data breaches ever seen.

Remorseless, Biderman appeared on countless TV shows as an “infidelity expert,” basically endorsing cheating on your significant other. Great thing to pride yourself on, right?

It turns out Biderman was in fact an infidelity expert, as reports from the leak state he tried to meet up with at least three girls on the site, the site which he and his wife created together. Sound familiar? Match.com’s creator Gary Kremen lost his girlfriend to a man she met on his site. Ouch!

To sum it all up, this site is terrible and so is the creator!

So let’s consider this—is Noel the bad guy in this situation for creating a site simply to capitalize on a fault of the human race (cheating), or are we as people to blame for our desire to be disloyal to our significant others?

Collegian Opinion Columnist Cierra Ortiz can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

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