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Ashley Madison leak: Is this newsworthy?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Dick Whitman, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The story is pretty simple:

    Government email addresses in South Bend, and across Indiana, were on the Ashley Madison list.

    Indiana newspapers have now begun to report this fact:

    South Bend, Mishawaka government domains tied to cheating website


    Or tabloid-esque?
  2. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    I think it's tabloid-esque.

    Here's the thing that's been bugging me about it - and I admit I'm completely clueless about how the site works - could someone register online for an account with Ashley Madison under another e-mail address, and have it show up in this leak?

    For example, if I didn't like a politician, and I knew this leak was being threatened and could happen, could I register under that politician's e-mail (I understand I wouldn't have access to the account), then have their e-mail address show up on the list?
  3. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    I generally don't think any of the Ashley Madison stuff is newsworthy.
    I'm still wrestling with specific cases like the Duggars. If a highly public person is exposed as a hypocrite through this release, is it newsworthy? That's the only real time I can see it as newsworthy.
    MAYBE you could make an argument for those who deal with classified data and this could make them more susceptible to blackmail?
    For anyone else, whether a public person or not? I think no.
    And as Burns points out, you have to be 100% sure that the person somewhat implicated is actually that person. Not 99%. Not 99.5%. 100%. Based on what Josh Duggar came out and said, it seems like he was. I honestly thought it would be someone using his email address because they thought it was funny, and not him.
  4. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Of course it's a story.
  5. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Most sites (not sure about AM) require you to confirm your email address before activating an account.

    And yes, it's news.
  6. gravehunter

    gravehunter Member

    I don't know that you could use someone else's email because you would probably have to confirm that it's your email address. A lot of times when you sign up at any website, they will send a confirmation email to the address that you provided. You would have to open that email and click on a link that confirms you have access to that address.
    I read last night, however, that people created email accounts to use this site, and in doing so, put obama or other well-known names in the fake email addresses. But they were not actually email addresses that were used by these well-knowns.
  7. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Is Hillary's email address on there?
    LongTimeListener likes this.
  8. TexasVet

    TexasVet Member

    Good question. I bet Bill's is on there though
  9. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    Yankeefan is on it
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
    YankeeFan likes this.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Who in the damn hell doesn't have the sense to make a personal email address for this stuff?

    It's newsworthy because those employees should be fired for being such idiot. And also for horndogging on taxpayer time, but mostly for being so stupid.
  11. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    Y'all's points are well taken (particularly LTL on creating a burner address - paging freq!), but the fact that someone's name is on Ashley Madison is in no way proof that they cheated, or even that they intended to.

    Also relevant: the Gawker/Conde Nast CFO leak. Gawker was rightly blasted for that, and the violation is the same here, aside from the fact that you have to do a little more digging to find people. But the result is the same: Private citizens who may or may not have been cheating on their spouses are going to be outed. I think they're entitled to the same nuanced take on infidelity that the CFO received.
  12. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    It would be possible to use someone else's email address to simply create the account. Even if you didn't verify it, the email address would still exist in the database, just as an unverified account. It would be up to the developer to purge unverified accounts after a certain time, but it is usually not necessary.
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