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.

By July 22, the first set of customer names were released by hackers, with all of the user data released on August 18, 2015.

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Unlike or e Harmony, Ashley Madison's business model is based on credits rather than monthly subscriptions.

For a conversation between two members, one of the members—almost always the man—must pay five credits to initiate the conversation.

As Business Insider's resident 23-year-old, I was obliged to poke around and try out some of the most popular dating apps.

For this story, I compared Ok Cupid, Tinder, JSwipe, Hinge, and Bumble — and I was surprised by the app that ultimately became my favorite.

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.

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' ".

The data disclosures in 2015 revealed that this "permanent deletion" feature did not permanently delete anything, and all data was recoverable.

Trish Mc Dermott, a consultant who helped found Match.com, accused Ashley Madison of being a "business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages, and damaged families".

In 2015, the Ontario Superior Court dismissed the case without costs, a result with which Avi Weisman, vice-president and general counsel for Avid Life Media, said the company was "very pleased".

the site was hacked by a group known as "The Impact Team".

Ashley Madison employs guerrilla marketing techniques to advertise its site.