Ashley Madison's biggest secret revealed: There were no women on the site
Ashley Madison hack: Just three in every 10,000 female accounts on infidelity website are real
More information is coming to light as a result of the Ashley Madison leak - this time, it's that the overwhelming majority of female accounts on the site are purportedly fake.
The claim was originally made by 'Team Impact', the group behind the leak, which sparked the curiosity of Gizmodo journalist Annaless Newlitz.
Newlitz analysed the site's user database and activity logs and described what she found as "like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots".
She wrote that millions of men were "paying to hook up with women who appeared to have created profiles and then simply disappeared".
There are 5.5 million female profiles on the Ashley Madison website - in comparison to 31m male profiles - and Newlitz reported that only 12,000 of those 5.5m female accounts had ever used the site after creating a profile.
Newlitz reported that these figures are not surprising, given that a former Ashley Madison employee sued the company for 'repetitive stress injury' after allegedly being hired to create 1,000 fake profiles in three months.
Newlitz found 10,000 accounts registered with employee accounts, with over 9,000 specified as female. A further 68,709 female accounts were created using one IP address.
Over 350 female accounts held the same last name as a woman who worked in the company around ten years prior.
Over 20M men on the site had checked their messages at least once, while only 1,492 women had done so. Over 11M men had used the chat system on the site while only 2,409 female accounts had.
"The women’s accounts show so little activity that they might as well not be there".
"They were not created by women wanting to hook up with married men. They were static profiles full of dead data, whose sole purpose was to make men think that millions of women were active on Ashley Madison".
Ashley Madison charged users to close accounts. Of the 185,946 deleted accounts, there were 12,108 women that had actively paid to leave the site.
"When you look at the evidence, it’s hard to deny that the overwhelming majority of men using Ashley Madison were not having affairs. They were paying for a fantasy".
Read the full Gizmodo analysis here.
Ashley Madison has been contacted for comment