Ashley Madison: Caught With Its Pants DownJuly 22, 2015
Ashley Madison, an infidelity site, was hacked. The 37 million members, 1 million in the UK alone, had a collective brown trouser moment when it was reported that a group called The Impact Team had gathered information from the site and threatened to reveal all (as users of Ashley Madison regularly do with their insignificant other) if the site wasn’t closed down permanently.
The ‘reveal’ would be customer profiles containing credit card details, real names and addresses, and sexual fantasies. Parent company, Avid Life Media, is temporarily offering users the chance to be able to delete their account for free where normally there would be a charge. Horse, bolt and gate comes to mind, but you have to give them credit for trying. To mangle the tagline in The X Files, the truth is now out there.
I’d never heard of this site before I found it on my Twitter timeline, but I certainly know about it now. It’s horrible to have your account compromised, so I feel for the members on that level. But I have to admit, the irony of people happy to break the trust in their relationships now having a meltdown as the universe returns the favour is too delicious to ignore. Twitter certainly didn’t ignore it. Here are a few of my favourite tweets.
And just in case you are left in any doubt about the gravity of this situation, let Senator Clay Davis from The Wire spell it out for you.
Of course, where there’s a disaster, there’s a business opportunity. Petrol stations will brace themselves for the increased sales of guilty bouquets and chocolates; restaurants will have an upsurge in bookings for “please forgive me” meals; Jewellers will be inundated with requests for the most fitting “I’m sorry” rings, and lawyers, like a man at the head of a carvery, crisscrossing his knives in preparation for slicing meat for the Sunday roast, will wait patiently for the fallout.
Ashley Madison’s motto is “Life is short. Have an affair.” Some of those member’s lives are going to feel a lot shorter this week.