An analysis of the user data on millions of people exposed by the massive hack of AshleyMadison.com has concluded that a vast majority of the accounts supposedly belonging to women were inactive and possibly fake.
Despite its popularity among men, with 31 million male users (including some using official government email addresses), the site for people looking to have an affair had only 5.5 million registered female users. Now, an investigation into the user data by tech site Gizmodo reveals that even that small proportion of women was probably wildly inflated by the company.
The names, email addresses and other personal information on the site's users was dumped online earlier this month after Ashley Madison executives refused to give into demands by a hacker group calling itself "Impact Team."
Annalee Newitz of Gizmodo downloaded the data and looked at the trends of both male and female user accounts on the site and wrote an extensive analysis of the records.
"When you look at the evidence, it's hard to deny that the overwhelming majority of men using Ashley Madison weren't having affairs," Newitz wrote. "They were paying for a fantasy."
You know I am a guy, and I know I'm supposed to stand up for my gender, but the fact is that sometimes we are incredibly stupid and gullible.
You know when I first started seeing advertisements for this site I had my doubts that it could really be used to find anonymous sex.
However the main reason I was not a member is not necessarily because I am some super moral person, but rather because I am way too cheap to pay money for sex.
And I am way, way too cheap to pay for sex that never happens.
Look I know that men fantasize, as do women, and most of the time that is perfectly okay.
We all do it, don't lie.
However when it takes money away from your family, and encourages you to look elsewhere for the kind of lovemaking that you partner may be secretly dying to provide, that is kind of inexcusable.
This Ashley Madison hack might just turn out to be a great thing in the long run. It will make men stop trusting websites to provide them with fantasy lovers, and it might convince some couples to communicate more honestly and find that the fantasy they have been looking for has been sleeping next to them all along.