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Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison

And they say romance is dead!

Just when you thought that the days of online cheating were over, it seems that basically nothing will deter people from the chance to break the rules—not even the threat of getting outed publicly on the Internet.

In case your mind has been filled with all the other depressing/disappointing/downright yucky news stories of 2015, let us remind you of a little thing called the Ashley Madison hack. Back in August, a group of hackers released the identities of a whopping 37 million alleged Ashley Madison account holders—men and women who signed up for the dating site that caters to married couples looking to get a little action on the side. You know, wholesome stuff. 

What came next was a veritable deluge of shocking (but not that shocking, when you think about it) reveals, like the fact that Josh Duggar, Christian Vlog star Sam Rader and Real Housewives of New York City husband Josh Taekman were members, among many (many, many) others. So what's the natural reaction to something like that? Get off the site! 

But it seems that no one really cares about leaving a cheating paper trail, because Ashley Madison just reported that its user base has grown by a whopping four million people since the scandal broke. At the time of the hack, the site claimed to have 39 million users. And now, according to a rolling count on the homepage, there are over 43 million members. It doesn't take a math genius to realize that it's a big jump.

The company has yet to issue a statement explaining the surprising increase, but that won't stop people (read: us) from doing a little educating guessing. If we had to supply a hypothesis, we'd say that there were a sizable number of people who didn't know that such a platform as Ashley Madison existed until it started making headlines and, well, you can fill in the rest. Either that or the site is clogged up with bots (you know, those creepy Instagram users who randomly start following you). Let's hope, for everybody's sake, that it's the bots.