Ashley Madison in perspective

lady justiceHowever I disagree with sites like Ashley Madison and the way its owners scam people, last week I have noticed something far more disturbing. As I understand, Ashley Madison was charging people for their profiles to be deleted, and then did not (promptly) delete them. I guess some of it’s “hackers” got caught up in this and decided to attack Ashley Madison for that. Up to this point, merely a quarrel between two parties which may have better been solved by legal procedure.

But when the “hackers” get hold of the user database of Ashley Madison things become interesting. The “hackers” threaten to release all the data they took from Ashley Madison. A few days later they actually release all the personal data, conveniently cleaned of their own records. Of course the never sleeping internet sleezeballs make it searchable, immediately turning it into a disproportionate problem for a number of people:

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@srhbutts eloquently responds:

Indiscriminate, bulk release of sensitive, illegally obtained data is not justifiable. Ever. Don’t celebrate this.

What the “hackers” did is terrorize and destroy the lives of people they’ve never met, simply because those people did not live up to their ideas and standards. To me, that is exactly what every terrorist organization does. Yes, that one too.

Even more terrifying is that instead of condemning the “hackers”, the media and its brainwashed bloodthirsty audience feeds on the datadump without so much as a thought about what just happened. A large number of people fall in to the confirmation bias trap where they just define anyone which can be remotely linked to that datadump as guilty of moral sins. And still, nobody seems to notice that the data dump conveniently contains no personal data of the “hackers” themselves. Remember, that’s how this all started, didn’t it?

The whole thing has turned into a classic witch hunt, where a large group of people vilifies random strangers without trial or evidence simply because they find that person’s actions strange or unbecoming. Today, it’s called “Mob Justice”, but it is in essence exactly the same.

(Social) media is not a replacement for a judicial system, for very good reasons. If you think someone committed a crime, talk to the police about it. [Update: Or talk to Ashley Madison if you have info about the “hackers” and get a $500k reward]

Destroying random people’s lives simply because you don’t understand or agree with their ways is dumb, medieval and in modern words plain terrorism.

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