It’s hard to overstate how disruptive the AshleyMadison.com data dump could ultimately be. It’s an event without precedent. The sociology could be fascinating for years.
Despite my longstanding strong feelings about cheating, I have significant concerns about this. Doubtless there are people caught in this who registered, then repaired their marriages and forgot about their AshleyMadison.com accounts. There are others who really were just curious (though not nearly as many as are probably playing that card). Here’s hoping the victims in these sorts of situations find them navigable.
The data dump will certainly hasten the destruction of some marriages that had little hope anyway. But it will also create new rifts that may never have appeared any other way. I hurt for these people and their children.
I’ve encountered a lot of yammering—some of it downright shrill—about how these people didn’t deserve this, privacy should be sacrosanct no matter the circumstances, and so forth. Fine, but at best that’s a secondary point, isn’t it? I wish I saw a similar number of people taking this opportunity to vigorously defend fidelity.