What's the deal with Ashley Madison?

I’ve seen ads for the Ashley Madison dot com website. From their ads, they’re saying they’re a site for people who want to have extramarital affairs to hook up with each other.

Maybe I’m naive, but is there really a large enough community of adulterers out there to support such a website? Or does the site, as I suspect, have an ulterior purpose? Is it a front site for prostitutes?

Seems to me that it is a ploy to lure visitors to the site out of curiosity, who will then look at the ads on the site, and put money into the pockets of whatever organism is running the site.

People who want to hook up with other people, married or unmarried, will keep doing so the way they have always been doing it.

I’ve read articles about it in the paper, and it seems to be legit. Here’s an example from the Toronto Star.

I did some Google searching on this a while ago and it seemed to me that there were a lot of reviews saying that they get you to spend money, but there is very little chance of any actual “hookup,” because there are far more men than women members.

Some more Googling reveals that there are apparently a lot of tricks involved. For example, people are automatically sent messages from people who didn’t have any interest in contacting them in order to get them to use up credits to read these fake messages.

Also it seems to be part of a huge network of dating sites that share members without letting them know. So searching profiles is likely to bring up results of people who aren’t aware that they’re listed on a “cheaters” website.

Some more Googling reveals that there are apparently a lot of tricks involved. For example, people are automatically sent messages from people who didn’t have any interest in contacting them in order to get them to use up credits to read these fake messages.

Also it seems to be part of a huge network of dating sites that share members without letting them know. So searching profiles is likely to bring up results of people who aren’t aware that they’re listed on a “cheaters” website.

Given that the site is designed to draw people stupid and/or reckless enough to seek out illicit affairs on the internet, I’m sure it’s a Happy Hunting Ground for all sorts of techniques of separating fools from their money.

Personally, I wouldn’t take a puff feature combining unaudited membership claims from the CEO with quotes from a single pseudonymous alleged member as much of an indicator of legitimacy.

It’s as easily an indicator of the combination of a working PR department and a media source that knows the value of borderline-salacious content.