It took me a few days to truly grasp the full realm of possibility for catastrophe impending upon the data dump of Ashley Madison’s client list.
My initial thought was, “Not my business; not my problem.” Impact Team clearly felt differently and held up their threat by releasing names, emails, addresses, etc. Pandemonium has now swept over as people on the high and low end of society risk having their families destroyed, physical threats, blackmail, and the list goes on.
The motive behind Impact Team, appears to be two-fold. One, they are exposing the morally bankrupt people who chose to cheat on their spouses. But in a statement released from the group, it would appear ALM, the owner of Ash Mad is also morally bankrupt, deceptive and guilty of fraudulent business practices. For the time being I’ll focus on the former.
Thou Shall Not Judge.
It would seem that the Impact Team has lived up to its name. But what impact were they trying to make? It would seem the initial motive behind this is that people they don’t know are having an affair and it’s their job to bring this to public light and shut down this lascivious website. Twitter users back this logic up with countless tweets of, They got what they deserved! Did they really? Like a stone tossed in a still lake, the impact goes deeper and the effect goes further.
I couldn’t care less about the list of politicians, athletes and Wall Street rulers whose “good names” and careers are being tarnished. You are public figures. You should know better than anyone that the least private place is ANYWHERE on the Internet. And Ashley Madison fully admits that it doesn’t verify it’s emails. In fact, there are accounts listed with celebrity names attached to domains that don’t even exist.
But what about the father and husband down the street who created that account before he even met his current wife, never even went past the profile set up page, but now is faced with judgement, scorn and a possible divorce that could wipe him out financially? What about the journalists that created a profile and even met up with someone from the site, but the meeting turned into an interview for an article on the sub-culture of purchasing infidelity? But we wouldn’t know that from the dump. And because HR departments do a great job of thoroughness, a social worker who is in an open marriage, might be fired just through association of this site even though his/her experience as a client had no negative impacts on his life up until now; it might even have enriched it.
More importantly what about the children of these people? Tommy, Jr. is already awkwardly going through puberty and being picked on in school. Now the tech-savy class bully is the one that informs him that his mom or dad is on this list. Tommy is socially ostracized, called a bastard (among other hurtful names), and as a result of bullying becomes another name on the list of teen suicide. Is that really fair?
I welcome additional information, viewpoints, and angles on this current issue. Please feel free to leave a comment.