Gizmodo editor-in-chief Annalee Newitz analyzed the data from the site’s user database and found a lot of suspicious stuff suggesting that nearly all the female accounts were fake, maintained by the company’s employees.
she found three really damning pieces of data:
- Only 1,492 of the women in the database had ever checked their messages on the site. That’s compared with more than 20 million men.
- Only 2,409 of the women had ever used the site’s chat function, versus more than 11 million men.
- Only 9,700 of the women had ever responded to a message from another person on the site, versus almost 6 million men. (This number was greater than the number of women who checked messages because it’s possible to answer messages in bulk when you first visit the site, without ever opening your inbox.)
It’s possible that most of the women signed up but never did anything.
Either way, Newitz writes, Ashley Madison is a site where tens of millions of men write mail, chat, and spend money for women who aren’t there.”
So, basically, the business model was fraud.
Ry and I have frequently suggested to each other we could be wealthy if only we weren’t constrained by our morals. This is another data point suggesting this hypothesis may be true.