Sorry, Josh Duggar; your reputation might have been destroyed for nothing after all.
Confirming what many had probably already long suspected, the newly installed leadership of Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media admitted this week that the dating website, which helps married individuals have secret affairs, had been using bots to entice subscribers.
The revelation came via a press release announcing the appointment of Avid Life Media CEO Rob Segal and president James Millership, who said that, while the use of bots had occurred in the past, such was no longer the case.
“My understanding is that bots are widespread in the industry, but they are no longer being used, and will not be used, at Avid Life Media and Ashley Madison,” Millership said.
That conclusion was reached via a forensic investigation to “review past business practices around bots and the ratio of male and female US members who were active on the site.” The investigation concluded that the company stopped using bots in North America in 2014 and internationally last year.
What are they going to tell us next — that the site wasn’t actually created by a woman named Ashley Madison?
The dating site was victimized by hackers last year, in a leak that revealed that former “19 Kids & Counting” star Duggar — a vocal family-values advocate — had two accounts with Ashley Madison. He reportedly held the subscriptions from February 2013 to May 2015 and quickly entered rehab following the public disclosure.
The new leadership acknowledged the site’s security issues, with Segal saying, “The company is truly sorry for how people’s lives and relationships may have been affected by the criminal theft of personal information. That’s why we’re charting a new course and making some big changes.”
The pair also plan to make Ashley Madison the “world’s most open-minded dating community.”
“With the right investment, innovation and customer care, the brand has promising potential to overcome its current challenges,” Millership said. “We’re investing heavily in technology — and we’re looking at acquisitions, a total rebranding, new features, partnerships and new ventures.”