Ashley Madison, an online dating network designed to connect people looking to cheat on their partners, has been compromised by hackers. Since launching in 2001, the site has grown to serve 31 million distinct users, which leaked data has shown were all in extramarital or secondary relationships with one woman.
Pennsylvania resident Margaret Duval joined the site shortly after its public launch, and has been the ‘other woman’ for everyone who has successfully used the site over the past fifteen years.
“I guess I’m surprised and flattered by this news, but also worried by what this public revelation might mean for my social life,” she told The Garter. She hopes the outing of her millions of lovers across twenty-nine countries doesn’t end the meaningful relationships she’s having with them behind their partners’ backs.
One site user, who asked that his name not be used but whose request was ignored given that his details had been leaked anyway, was hurt by the news. “I felt Margaret and I had built something unique together, and it somehow feels cheapened by sharing it with approximately the population of Venezuela as well as also my girlfriend of eight years. I guess I feel betrayed”, said Albert Werner of Maryland.
Representatives of Ashley Madison say it’s an incredible invasion of privacy, and that everything should be hidden from everyone. Duval disagrees in principle but not in practice.
“I guess I’m the most shocked of everyone. Apart from my husband.”