Thursday 26 April 2018

Scarlet letter lives on in this very modern morality tale

'What's abstract for those who weren't signed up to Ashley Madison is extremely personal to those who were, and it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the first suicides have been announced'
'What's abstract for those who weren't signed up to Ashley Madison is extremely personal to those who were, and it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the first suicides have been announced'
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

In the week since the Ashley Madison hacking story broke, the reaction has run the gamut of emotions, from amusement to indignation to fury.

Amusement is the most obvious and rational response. We all get a giggle when a cheat is caught with his pants down - as long as we're not the cheater, of course - and this was a very 21st Century morality tale that boasted illicit sex, credit cards and the internet; three things which, it sometimes appears, couldn't exist independently of each other.

But while there were cheap giggles aplenty, it didn't take long for the mob to start whipping themselves up into a frenzy of righteous indignation and moral outrage over what was, essentially, an abstract issue that was really nobody else's business.

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