In recent years, the Internet has seen an influx of dating Web sites such as E-Harmony and Match.com, which have become respected and profitable companies in the dating game by guaranteeing users love. Now, another Web site has thrown its hat into the ring, but they aren’t guaranteeing customers love, but rather an affair to remember.
Ashleymadison.com is a Web site that networks men and women currently in relationships and want to cheat. The site claims to offer discrete and safe interaction between “those caught in a loveless relationship” for a price.
Ashleymadison.com’s spokesman Noel Bederman, has been on several talk shows, including Larry King Live, Tyra Banks, Dr. Phil and Headline News.
In his many interviews, all of which are proudly displayed on the Ashley Madison Web site, Bederman defends his company as just another Internet business trying to make a buck.
When asked about the morality of the site, both Bederman and the FAQ section of the Web site offer the same response, saying that it’s a personal choice and Ashley Madison is only there to offer a safe service.
As if to back up its claims and offer some form of legitimacy, the Web site boasts the Ashley Madison Foundation, which provides grants and underwriting to promote non-profit organizations involved in studying safer sex practices and women’s sexuality.
A representative from the company declined to answer any specific questions as to how the nonprofit funds are used.
“It’s ridiculous. They can’t possibly think they can run a legitimate business that’s focus is on cheating,” said MCC student Brielle Torel.
Overwhelmingly, the MCC student body agrees.
In a student poll, only one student agreed with the Web site’s practices. About 90 percent agreed that the business, while morally wrong, had the right to profit, while the remaining 10 percent believed the site was both morally and legally wrong.
The company’s representative declined to comment on questions about the Web site’s legality.
Ashley Madison does not appear to have any reservations about advertising, despite questions of legality. The site has rented billboard space in major cities like Los Angeles, New York and even Boston, where cheating is a crime.
Business major Keith Lax said he doesn’t need the law to tell him what’s right or wrong.
“There are a lot of things this country condones. That doesn’t necessarily make it right,” Lax said.