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It was founded in 2002 by Darren Morgenstern, with the slogan: "Life is short.Have an affair." The company received attention on July 15, 2015, after hackers stole all of its customer data—including emails, names, home addresses, sexual fantasies and credit card information—and threatened to post the data online if Ashley Madison and fellow Avid Life Media site Established were not permanently closed.For a conversation between two members, one of the members—almost always the man—must pay five credits to initiate the conversation.Any follow-up messages between the two members are free after the communication has been initiated.Ashley Madison had over 70,000 bots sending fake female messages to male users.She had previously released an analysis purporting to show that only a minuscule proportion (12,000 out of 5.5 million) registered female accounts were used on a regular basis, Newitz noted a clause in the terms of service which states that some accounts are for amusement purposes only.Outside of church and work, it's often difficult to find places to meet other single Christians — online Christian dating solves this problem.
Compounding the problem is that "more men than women use the service, with the disparity increasing as they advance in age", and "Men seek sex, while women seek passion." A page on Ashley Madison, entitled "Is Ashley Madison a scam? " addressed some of these issues in an attempt to win over prospective customers and teach them best practices for using the site.She says Ashley Madison does not go so far as to say they are fake, but "does admit that many profiles are for 'amusement only' ".