Ashley Madison? Better change the name to Sausage Fest.
Some depressing or hilarious (depending on your point of view) new information just came to light thanks to the data dump that published the details of Ashley Madison's 36 million accounts.
By the way, since we are talking about the Ashley Madison hack so much, we need a name for it. Ashley-gate? Cheater Data Dump-palooza? Discuss.
Gizmodo's Annalee Newitz analyzed the data after reports were released that 95% of the women on the site were really fake accounts. What Newitz found after combing through the data was worse. Much worse.
Basically, the some 31 million men who were on Ashley Madison looking to get something on the side were paying to talk to women who weren't even real.
"The more I examined those 5.5 million female profiles, the more obvious it became that none of them had ever talked to men on the site, or even used the site at all after creating a profile," writes Newitz.
She found a mountain of evidence (ashleymadison.com test accounts and loopback interfaces) that signified that Ashley Madison employees were creating and maintaining these fake accounts to give paying customers the allusion that a real, hot-blooded woman is on the other end of emails and chats.
When she picked out what looked like real accounts, the ratio was skewed more than anyone imagined:
•1,492 of females in the database ever opened their Ashley Madison inbox to check messages. In comparison, 20 million men were opening messages on the site.
•2,409 women used the chat function versus 11 million plus men
According to Newitz's research, the ratio of actual women responding to emails and using the site compared to the millions and millions of activity from men was depressing.
"Overall, the picture is grim indeed," she summarizes. "Out of 5.5 million female accounts, roughly zero percent had ever shown any kind of activity at all, after the day they were created."
Think about the 31 million men that were using the site…who were they talking to?! Any way you slice it, there were just not enough females on Ashley Madison to go around. Demand was high, but supply was low. Members just didn't know that. Until now.
Of course, plenty of men were probably able to find a suitable mistress and met them in person. But as for the countless dudes who signed on to have a hot chat with a sexy lady…were they really interacting with a female? Or just an Ashley Madison employee using the account to keep the customers interested?
Tune in next time for more intriguing updates from Ashley-gate.
(We still need a new name).