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A shadowy group of hackers breached the adultery website Ashley Madison last month, and now entertaining kernels of news are emerging right on schedule. In addition to all that embarrassing user information, the data dump also includes a collection of intra-office emails, which reveal the daily lives of the adultery profiteers at Avid Life Media (ALM), Ashley Madison's parent company.
The Daily Dot just noticed that the folks at Ashley Madison had been working on an app called What's Your Wife Worth. It doesn't appear that it ever got close to the final stages of development, but ALM CEO Noel Biderman declared it "really good."
According to information gleaned from Biderman's emails, booting up the app would have presented the user with two options: "post your wife" and "bid on someone's wife," and the interface (above) looked like there may have been a plan for some sort of "top ten hottest wives currently being cheated on list."
The purpose of "bidding" on wives remains unclear. Maybe it's just meant to boost your ego, if your ego is for some reason tied up in the hotness of your wife. But given that there's a little text input box under the wives on the site, there's also the possibility that people were meant to bid with the intention of actually sleeping with one of the wives, Indecent Proposal-style. And if everyone's on the same page, maybe that's not so bad?
Up until this point, the consensus seems to be that the users whose email addresses are now in the public record probably don't deserve to be branded for life, and the site provided a useful and ethical service to some users. The staff at Ashely Madison were—let's not forget—a bunch of people who were just doing their jobs when this hack happened.
But now we're finding out that they were toying with what appears to be a pretty overtly misogynistic app, and they look like jerks all over again. It's too bad this app hadn't just been named "What's Your Spouse Worth?" It still wouldn't have been clever, but it probably also wouldn't be news.
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