Turns out that Ashley Madison users weren’t the only ones cheating: The dating website was tricking its male users into believing that robots were seductive females. Have an affair” enticed millions of male users, but females were scarce on the platform. Fembots—computer-generated fake female profiles—would chat up non-paying male users.Then, to view and respond to messages from these seemingly eager women, men would have to pay.Executives for Avid Life Media, the parent company of the extramarital affairs, admitted to being investigated by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the use of fembots in an interview with Reuters.
Avid chief executive Rob Segal and president James Millership apologized for the security vulnerabilities that divulged the personal information.
They have plans to spend millions to improve security, and they’re also looking at payment options that offer more privacy.
An Ernst & Young report commissioned by Avid confirmed the use of female chatbots, according to Reuters. In October 2015, the FTC sued another online dating site for over $616,000 over the use of computer-generated profiles to trick people into paid memberships.
The investigation of the fake profiles is “a part of the ongoing process that we’re going through …
Ashley Madison’s hack gave insight to a world where millions of men swapped messages with female-impersonator bots.
But though more men than women use online dating overall, it seems that some major dating websites successfully subvert this trend.
In general, more men than women use online dating—some 13% of men compared to 9% of women in the United States, according a Pew Research Centre study in 2013.
While over 20 million male customers had checked their inboxes at least once, only 1,492 women had, Newitz found.
The site had apparently created its first fembot—Sensuous Kitten—as early as 2002.
Former chief executive Noel Biderman stepped down after the leak.
Since then, the new executives have been trying to revive the brand.