A Toronto woman is suing Ashley Madison, a dating site for married people looking to cheat, claiming that she hurt her wrists after being hired to create 1,000 fake profiles. She’s looking to receive $21 million, and is seeking money earned from the profiles that she made.
The Canadian press reported that Doriana Silva, a Brazilian immigrant who has since returned to South America, was promised $34,000 from Ashley Madison for making the fake profiles, which were intended to entice men to join a new Brazilian version of the site. Her statement says that the profiles were just a way to get heterosexual men to spend money on the new site; basically, she was being paid to rapid-fire catfish.
The site has previously been accused of possessing fake profiles, but this is the first time that there has been any proof that there really aren’t thousands of eager young women looking for attached men. In July, the site reported that its mobile app led to an increase in female members, leaving the male/female split at around 50/50 for those under 35. But with the Doriana Silva case, it’s now possible that a decent percentage of those profiles are fakes, too. On their FAQ page, Ashley Madison informs curious souls that, no, they do not pre-screen members, and that “anyone who is able to commit identity theft can also falsify a dating profile.”
Silva isn’t trying to sue the site for making her do anything illegal, even though she says now that if she knew that making the fake profiles was tantamount to online fraud, she wouldn’t have participated. She was told that what she was doing was a “normal business practice” in the online dating industry. She just wants money for hurting her wrists, saying that she wasn’t offered a wrist rest, and that the pain has left her “seriously disabled in many if not all aspects of her life.” Her lawyer, Paul Dollak, told the Toronto Sun that her injury has left her without an income, while Ashley Madison’s spokesperson Paul Keable attests that the company offered “good faith attempts” toward Silva. She was prescribed rest, which the company agreed to let her take, but she refused the help.
Ashley Madison’s official statement argued that this is all a “frivolous claim,” and that while two different doctors diagnosed her with a strain in her wrist, an insurance auditor was not able to find her claim credible. Avid Life Media, which controls Ashley Madison, referred to her claim as “extortionary,” and included photos of Doriana jet-skiing as proof that she is not seriously injured. The suit was originally filed last year, but nothing happened, as Avid Life asked the court to delete references to “unethical practices” from Doriana’s statement; a Superior Court judge opted to leave in those references.
Of course, Ashley Madison has been caught more than once for fabricating news stories just for the sake of grabbing attention for their online meat market. This could all be some elaborate prank and Ashley Madison will "prove" all of their profiles are real next week.
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