Former Ashley Madison Customer Sues Site Over “Army Of Fembots” With Fake Profiles

ashleymadison-580x370After hackers dumped a plethora of personal information about Ashley Madison’s 37 million subscribers online in August, the public has learned a lot about the dating site aimed at cheaters. Among the reported revelations: only about 15% of its users are women, contrary to the site’s marketing claims, a new lawsuit says. Adding insult to injury? The army of fembots scattered through the sites with fake profiles written by employees.

Not only were subscribers embarrassed by the data leak, but Ashley Madison’s parent company Avid Life Media concealed the fact that there were so few real women, one customer claims in a federal class action suit reported by Courthouse News.

More than 70,000 so-called women on the site were actually “fembots,” the subscriber claims, imaginary women who were born from the imaginations of Ashley Madison employees. Their purpose? “To send male users millions of fake messages,” the complaint states.

“Ashley Madison went to extreme measures to fraudulently lure in and profit from customers,” the lawsuit reads. “Defendants’ fraudulent and deceitful actions include, but are not limited to: marketing that the site had 5.5 million female profiles, when only a small percentage of the profiles belonged to actual women who used the site; hiring employees whose jobs were to create thousands of fake female profiles…”

Users were charged in-site “credits” whenever they wanted to contact someone else, the plaintiff says, which means he and other users were paying to talk to robots more often than real women: he claims the “army of fembots” contacted male users more than 20 million times, raking in big money for Avid Life.

If he’d known that most of the female profiles on the site were fake, the customer says, he wouldn’t have joined in the first place.

“In short, defendants did not only mislead in marketing and promoting the website, they purposefully induced members — like plaintiff and the class — to engage with the fake profiles by sending out the initial communication to members. This directly caused members to incur costs while believing it was an actual person communicating with them,” the complaint states.

He’s seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, an injunction banning Avid Life from using “undisclosed fake profiles” on its website, restitution, and punitive damages for fraud, unfair competition, false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.

Fembots Populated Ashley Madison, Class Says [Courthouse News]