A staggering 37 million people were affected by the Ashley Madison hack, but how many of those 37 million people actually cheated on their spouses? We may never know the real answer to that question, but there are things that the data can tell us, if you look at it right.
The folks over at Gizmodo downloaded and analyzed the data, and it provides some fascinating insight. For example, out of those 37 million users, only 5.5 million were female profiles. But, dig even further into the data and only 12,000 of those profiles belong to real women, who were active members on the site. That means roughly 5.4 million of Ashley Madison's female users were either robots or fake accounts.
Fake profiles are nothing new to the Internet - catfishing has been around for years - and it's nothing new to Ashley Madison. The company was sued by a former employee in 2012 after she suffered injuries creating fake profiles for the site. In fact, Gizmodo even points out that Ashley Madison includes a condition in its Terms and Services that states some profiles are solely "for entertainment."
The data also proved the Impact Team right on the fraud front. Initially, the Impact Team was upset over a feature called "Full Delete" that charged users to fully erase their profiles and scrub any data. The hackers claimed that despite the $19 price tag, Full Delete did nothing and is nothing but a fraud. The data backs that up, showing 173,838 men and 12,108 women were listed as a paid delete, but all the data in those accounts was preserved.
What else do the numbers show?
- How many people actually check their Ashley Madison messages? Roughly 20.2 million men and only 1,492 women.
- How many people actually responded to Ashley Madison messages? 5.9 million men, 9,700 women.
- How many people use the Ashley Madison instant messaging system? An estimated 11 million men, but only 2,409 women.
So if there is a silver lining to this story at all, it's that not as many spouses might have been cheating via Ashley Madison as previously thought. At least, there's a good chance of that anyway, according to the numbers.
Want to know more about the data and the process of how it was gathered? Click here to see the full report and analysis from Gizmodo.