Though much of the daily news chatter surrounding the Ashley Madison hack has centered on various versions of "Asshole guy does asshole thing, is revealed as asshole," some potentially damning statistics related to the variety of the now-infamous cheating website's user variety have been mainly ignored. However, recent data analysis from Gizmodo's editor-in-chief Annalee Newitz reveals exactly how damning those numbers might be.
Newitz approached the hacker-published data, citing 31 million male-owned accounts and just 5 million female-owned accounts, with a more decisive eye aimed at discovering the true nature of these accounts. According to her analysis, Ashley Madison was mostly just millions of sad dudes talking to each other and/or internally manufactured accounts. For example, though 20 million men were reported as opening their inbox at least once, less than 2,000 women did the same. Furthermore, only 2,409 women ever used the site's popular chat function, frequented by more than 11 million male subscribers.
The most startling finding in Newitz's analysis, however, is the fact that Ashley Madison apparently engaged in the practice of creating internal accounts purporting to be female, possibly in an attempt to boost the male / female ratio. Newitz reportedly found a large number of "test accounts" ending with ashleymadison.com, 90% of which were claiming to be female.
In short, assholes doing asshole things were mostly just surrounded by other assholes.