Ashley Madison‘s 2016 won’t be a lot of fun as the issue is going further downhill with the recent lawsuit filed in Mississippi. And today’s Needull (link at the very end below) is a wonderful article by Navneet Alang, one of my favourite writers on the evolution of techno-culture.
For those of you, who were too busy with facebook updates on Dadri and might not know or care a lot about the issue, a brief introduction is a necessity.
Ashley Madison is a Canadian online dating service, albeit with a difference. It is meant for married people bored of Daal Roti and looking for an occasional Biryani. Their slogan “Life is short. Have an affair.” is pretty direct and definitely, pretty effective (as of January 2016, it has more than 50 million users).
Now what happened was that in July 2015, a hacker group called “The Impact Team” stole the user data of Ashley Madison, including their names, addresses, past affairs, search history, transaction records, sexual orientation, weird fetishes, shapes and sizes (I am sure this data would have been a skewed Bell Curve). Now this 25GB data was a gold mine of sorts and obviously created a lot of speculative news. Surprisingly, the site became even more popular after the data breach and more and more users are registering everyday. Afterall, the temptation of Biryani is hard to resist, despite the after-effects it may entail.
And now that we know all about the ‘affair’, let’s move on to today’s Needull, where Navneet talks about his own decade long experience with this website. And while he goes through his own ghosts of past, he talks about the fears which we all harbour, every time we delete our browser history.
We joke about the horror of having our Google searches publicized, or our Twitter DMs revealed, but in truth, we know the mere existence of such a digital database makes it likely that something will emerge from the murky space in which digital functions as a canvas for our fantasies or guilt.
So if you ever dare to enter the labyrinth of extra-marital affairs, you better be ready to face The Terror of Archive.