There is a “dating” website called Ashley Madison (AM) that specifically targets cheaters that was in the news lately. Their motto is, “Life is short, have an affair”, and this picture:
While the media is focused like a laser beam on the hacking angle, the comments on most sites are focused on the morality of a web site devoted to cheating and cheaters.
No one is saying that the whole site is a total scam. But it is. 100%. Even the woman they use for the picture campaign is a fake. Her wedding ring is photoshopped on.
The AM business model is to sign up dues-paying men, women join for free. The men buy points that they can spend on the site to send email, READ email, send winks and “flowers”. When you send “flowers” to a user, no actual flowers are sent. you just get some insane number of points deducted from your account and the other person gets an email note saying you sent “flowers” with a flower email border or clipart*. The problem with the site and why it is a scam is: THERE ARE NO WOMEN**.
So, the site uses obvious scammer techniques. They have paid staff create thousands of women’s profiles all over the country. The same profile will answer guys at different places around the country in a way that no real person could do. If you sign up for a free account, and post your profile, you will immediately start getting hits. “Winks”, “nods”, “looks of interest” or whatever they call them. Even some email notes that say “I noticed your profile and you are just what I like”. But you can’t read any of them unless and until you buy some points and then use those points to read each message. At which point, they disapear. Any you respond to, by paying more points, will go unanswered. And if you get tired of the games and run out of points, they will spam your email with more winks and nods until you buy more points.
Even for those very few women who are on there, they can afford to be highly selective in who they choose, so they all choose the same small pool of guys. The tall rich handsome bankers and executives who need a seat warmer on their trip to Taihiti.
Everyone else on the site is there for one reason: Pay the fees. This is a total scam business model. There should be federal agencies like the FCC (internet regulation), and FBI (wire fraud) trying to shut this site down. Not because sex is immoral but because FRAUD is illegal.
Finally: There is no privacy on the internet. For any company with the resources of say, Google, and the intention of tracking you, the information is out there. This isn’t 1997 any more. For that matter, there is no privacy anywhere else either. If you still think there is, you are foolish. And you can never get it back. The best you can hope for is that the rest of the world will not use their knowledge of you to commit crimes against you. Outing you to your wife and church about your on-line cheating is NOT a crime. Even if you live totally off the grid, everyone you deal with does not. The grid can detect you by connecting the dots where a person-sized element should be and isn’t.
Finally2: While AM is particularly focused on the cheating market, they are hardly unique. Every dating site, including Christian Mingle and EHarmony have married men on them looking to cheat. CLUE: CHEATERS ARE ALSO BIG FAT LIARS. Sites like Tinder and Grinder (gay tinder) are loaded with cheaters. So is Craig’s list (AM for poor people). Heck, half the gay section in Craig’s List claim to also be married (to women– there was a time we could assume that’s what married meant).
There is no right to privacy. You cannot escape from being seen in public or on the public internet. As we progress into the future, you will see less privacy, not more. The killer app of the future will be the universal wiki so that whenever you meet someone, you can instantly pull up everything about them. Their home address, phone numbers, web sites, political views, every sex partner they ever had and were they any good, etc. Everything. inevitable. You cannot stop it or hide from it. What we are seeing today are just the first steps of a baby that is going to grow into a world class sprinter.
* Clipart is a low resolution picture, often drawn in only one or two colors. It’s what we had before the internet could handle full color pictures an JPG formats in 64 baud modems.
**Obvious Hyperbole. There are probably at least 1% real women on even the most pointlessly scam dating site just because there are a lot of women in the world and some of them can access the internet. Some of those might sign up for a profile just for amusement. A few might even want an affair or be a single woman looking for a married banker.