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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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  • great post. Have to agree with you about this shocking site

  • Sher

    If a company like this is allowed to exist.There will be more people who will want to make money like this. Honestly I do not understand how the person who started this site sleep every night knowing he is breaking up families and kids lives. What would the wife or husband tell the child when they grow up about why their mom and dad left them, because of physical intimacy?. I am shocked that Canada of all countries allow such a business to operate. Its so sad that people don't care about the essence of life anymore. The best slogan now is Life is short , have an affair. To me that means I will die young, so lets get there faster.w such a business to operate. Its so sad that people don't care about the essence of life anymore. The best slogan now is Life is short , have an affair. To me that means I will die young, so lets get there faster.

  • Kristen

    i found this post googling "can i complain about ashley madison?" I have friends that are both doing it, and I really need someone to complain to. It has totally affected our friendship, and that of our families. I'm sure there is someone out there going through the same thing.

  • Kate

    "If a company like this is allowed to exist.There will be more people who will want to make money like this. Honestly I do not understand how the person who started this site sleep every night knowing he is breaking up families and kids lives."

    Probably the same way tobacco execs sleep every night knowing that they are contributing to the deaths of thousands, even millions of people…in their luxurious beds inside their multi-million dollar mansions. I don't agree with the site, but we live in a free society and I'd like to keep it that way.

  • Enkill_Eridos

    I honestly do not understand how companies are allowed to close down factories and then build a whole new one in a country that they can charge .50 us cents an hour for. In America greed runs rampant, it is sad that people do not see the greed for what it is. No one forces you to sign up for these sites, I mean I would allow my wife to join this site provided that I could watch. The point of this comment and bump is because of Kate's comments. We live in a free society really? Because umm our freedoms are being taken away from us little by little. The thing is society is stupid enough to think being free means no responsibilities. I mean the citizen has more responsibility in the government than politicians want you to think. This election ear politicians and political groups have spent billions of dollars to squash things that could give the American voter more control over things that happen in their community. A lot of these billions of dollars are spent spreading lies, politicians doesn't want a true constitutional america, because then the politicians will have less power than they do now. But honestly, there is decent and indecent. I am not saying Ashley Madison should not exist, the thing I am wondering about is why is the commercials allowed to air on tv? I mean honestly, watchdog groups have destroyed tv for less. I am against the idea the commercial I saw portrays. The one I saw the commercial is a cartoon, so what does this teach our kids? I mean are parents more worried about a nipple on tv (which believe it or not every kid know what a breast and nipple is. If they do not then there may be a serious problem you need to take the child to a doctor to diagnose. I don't remember breast feeding from my mom, but I do remember staring at my baby sitters boobs when I was five.) We are supposed to live in a free-market society, not a capitalist one. We wonder why the divorce rate is so high? Because from a young age children can get the impression that infidelity is no big deal, when it really is. Not because marriage is sacred, but because marriage is you telling someone (whether same-sex or different sex. Love doesn't discriminate.) that you want to share your life in every way with that person, because you love that person. If you're not going to be faithful to one person don't get married.