Ashley Madison Says People, Even Some Real Women, Are Still Signing Up For Cheating Site

ashleymadison-580x370We can understand why people continued to shop at retailers that have been hit by data breaches. You still need to buy groceries, clothing, housewares, etc. But what about a website whose main selling point is privacy? Even though AshleyMadison.com — the dating website for cheaters — has been publicly embarrassed by the posting of millions of users’ personal data, it claims that people are still signing up… and that they’re not all just dudes.

A statement from Avid Life Media, the Canadian parent company of Ashley Madison, claims that “hundreds of thousands of new users signed up” with the site in the last week, including 87,596 women.

The company is making a point of this last figure after a Gizmodo analysis of the stolen Ashley Madison data concluded that not only was there an extraordinarily high ratio of male to female users on the site (even though it’s free for women to sign up), but that virtually none of the female accounts had communicated in any way with the men on the site.

READ MORE: Why The Stolen Ashley Madison Data Is (Legally) Fair Game For The Internet

Avid Life claims that assumptions made in this analysis were incorrect and contends that “Last week alone, women sent more than 2.8 million messages within our platform.”

The site also takes issue with reports of the male to female ratio. The stolen data shows that there are 31.3 million male users, compared to only 5.5 million females on Ashley Madison. Avid Life claims that when you look at the number male users who paid to communicate with women versus the number of female members who actively used their accounts, the ratio is actually 1.2:1.

What the Avid Life statement doesn’t make clear is how many of the recent sign-ups were legitimate, paying users and how many were free accounts set up by people curious to see what all the hubbub was about.

The company’s CEO Noel Biderman, whose e-mail inbox was the source for on 13GB data dump, stepped down last week, with Avid Life saying that the “change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees.”