Ashley Madison, the prim-sounding dating site that helps cheaters arrange extramarital dalliances, was hacked. And the cheaters are, naturally, freaking out. A profile on Ashley Madison is the virtual equivalent of lipstick on the collar. Delete, delete is the first thought. And Ashley Madison is enabling the quitters too, foregoing the normal $19.95 deletion fee for those who want to ditch their profiles. You can stop cheating with Ashley Madison for free this week.
The hackers vow to expose the “cheating dirtbags.” Will Ashley Madison, which expects a rash of profile deletions, be able to recover? The site currently hosts over 100 million visits a month, with 37 million users, according to Wikipedia. The site operates in more than a dozen languages and countries. If 50% of the cheaters remove their profiles — which they won’t — Ashley Madison will survive and thrive. Plus cheating is a recidivist’s game, and even many of those who delete now can be expected to sign up again — maybe even at a higher price. Ashley Madison is a business that will keep doing well, even if it doesn’t do good.