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August 7 2008

Ashley Madison: Sometimes The Web Just Goes Too Far

Back in April of this year, I did one of the largest lists I had ever done for Mashable: Dating Toolbox: 120+ Sites For Singles To Find Love.  I thought I had hit the majority of the dating sites out there when I even found one dedicated to farmers, but somehow I completely missed The Ashley Madison Agency.

As you can see, there slogan is, “Life is short.  Have an affair.”  I’m kind of surprised this didn’t end with an exclamation point, but oh well.  As you’ve guessed from that, this site is dedicated only to married individuals who are looking to cheat on their spouse.  I admit I didn’t bother signing up to peruse the site myself, but I would imagine there are more than a few single men in there also whom are sure they can provide some lonely housewife with just what they need, but in general it is for married folks.

Though the site has been around since 2002, I had never heard of it until the news came out that ESPN’s parent company, Disney, had instructed the network to stop running television ads for the service.

Wait…

They run television ads for a site built specifically for people who want to have affairs?  According to the article in AdFreak, Noel Biderman, president of the agency, doesn’t understand how the service differs from the beer ads run on ESPN and why those are allowed to continue while this site isn’t.

Er… well, you see, the thing is…

Honestly, I have a very “live and let live” mentality when it comes to other people’s lifestyles.  I have known people of of so many varied backgrounds that it would be impossible for me to be judgmental of anyone who chooses to do anything short of murder.  What I do have is a problem with is a website whose sole puprose is to profit from facilitating the breaking of marital vows.  I am not naive in that I don’t know this happens on other dating sites on a daily basis, but those sites are not built around that lone concept.  The site says they don’t encourage infidelity, and they say that just because it exists it won’t cause people to stray, they are merely providing a service.

urk… I think my brain just broke.

Just because you can build a site or service doesn’t always necessairly mean you should, and this is one of those cases.



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