Have an affair." The company received attention on July 15, 2015, after hackers stole all of its customer data—including emails, names, home addresses, sexual fantasies and credit card information—and threatened to post the data online if Ashley Madison and fellow Avid Life Media site Established were not permanently closed.By July 22, the first set of customer names were released by hackers, with all of the user data released on August 18, 2015.
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In the same month, the company changed its signature tagline from "Life is Short.
Have an Affair." to "Find your moment," and updated its brand imagery to replace the image of a woman wearing a wedding ring with a red gem-shaped symbol as its logo.
She had previously released an analysis purporting to show that only a minuscule proportion (12,000 out of 5.5 million) registered female accounts were used on a regular basis, Newitz noted a clause in the terms of service which states that some accounts are for amusement purposes only.
She says Ashley Madison does not go so far as to say they are fake, but "does admit that many profiles are for 'amusement only' ".
Compounding the problem is that "more men than women use the service, with the disparity increasing as they advance in age", and "Men seek sex, while women seek passion." A page on Ashley Madison, entitled "Is Ashley Madison a scam? " addressed some of these issues in an attempt to win over prospective customers and teach them best practices for using the site.
Ashley Madison had over 70,000 bots sending fake female messages to male users.
The lawsuit claimed that as a result Silva "developed severe pain in her wrists and forearms", and has been unable to work since 2011. The company claimed that Silva had been photographed jet-skiing, an activity that was unlikely for someone who had suffered serious injury to the hands and forearms.
Ashley Madison later alleged further that Silva had kept confidential documents and sought to retrieve them.
In 2015, the Ontario Superior Court dismissed the case without costs, a result with which Avi Weisman, vice-president and general counsel for Avid Life Media, said the company was "very pleased".