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Hardly Any of the Few Women on Ashley Madison Are Real

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When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

And while that's usually a depressing thing to discover, on this occasion, we're not so sad about it.

In the wake of the Ashley Madison data leak that has called into question the morality of whether hacking is ever justified, opened a giant can of worms for those listed in the data, revealed an overwhelmingly male bias to the users and panicked the site into putting a £240,000 bounty on finding those responsible, comes another revelation about the site.

Gizmodo writer Annalee Newitz has trawled the data leak and found out that not only are just 5-10 per cent of those on the site are listed as women (5.5m out of 37m) - but the majority of them aren't even real.

In Newitz's words: "This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots."

She estimates that just 12,000 out of the 5.5m 'females' in in the leak are real people actively using the site, with the remainder having never actually ever talked to men, or used the site at all after signing up.

This leads to several interesting conclusions. On the one hand, it labels the men using it as deluded idiots paying real money for a fantasy. On the other hand, it also shows that the overwhelming majority of men on the site weren't having an affair - the numbers just don't allow it to be more than an extremely distant possibility.

If Ashley Madison were not already six-feet under, this revelation would probably be the final nail in the coffin for it; what they were doing was certainly skirting close - if not definitely - to outright fraud.

So does this exonerate the men who have been 'exposed' as the chances are that they never actually got round to doing any cheating? Or does it make no difference, as they were clearly going in with the intention of doing so? And, furthermore, does it actually undermine the moral argument for the hack in the first place? As the majority of men on the site were doing nothing but talking to themselves.

Get your moral compass out and see which way it swings we guess...

(Image: AllStar)

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