How Ashley Madison says it kept prostitutes off the site

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

As details about Ashley Madison's business continue to spill forth through two massive data dumps by hackers, Fusion was sent a company document titled "Management Presentation." The February 2014 Powerpoint presentation reveals revenue numbers, membership growth rates, and explains how it keeps "undesirables" off the site, which Ashley Madison defines as prostitutes and pornography purveyors.


According to the PowerPoint, part of how the company detects who's a prostitute is by looking for "over usage of the site." Lest they accidentally ban someone who is just really excited to have an affair, chronic users are then marked for human review.

According to the document, the company then collected the IP addresses of people it believed to be prostitutes, and dropped cookies on their computers that basically communicated 'This is a prostitute.' The site then used these cookies to redirect the suspected "undesirables" to a dummy site on which they had no possibility of making contact with Ashley Madison's other users.

The PowerPoint explains how the 'anti-undesirable' technology works: it "utilizes cookies and IP tracking… to redirect these unwanted users, unknowingly, into a custom experience of the site with no actual interaction with ALM users."

So, future prostitutes who want to cruise Ashley Madison, you should probably clear your cookies, try to hold off on checking the site too often, and use Tor to connect so that your IP address isn't trackable. Though after this huge hack, it's unclear how many customers are actually going to remain there.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.