Technology

Ashley Madison says site is 'still growing'

Ashley Madison website

The enormous data leak from the Ashley Madison infidelity dating website has not stopped people joining the service, the company says.

"Hundreds of thousands" of new members joined the website last week, according to owner Avid Life Media.

Details of more than 33 million accounts were stolen from the website and published online in August.

On Friday, the company's chief Noel Biderman stepped down. The firm said the move was in its "best interests".

Angels

In August, a huge dump of the company's data was posted online. It included the personal details of millions of members, and thousands of Noel Biderman's emails.

The data led to questions being asked about the number of females actively using the website.

Some of the emails alluded to the creation of artificial profiles called Ashley's Angels. One email suggested staff were experiencing "writer's block" when creating them.

Number one

"Some journalists have turned the focus of the criminal act against Ashley Madison inside out, attacking us instead of the hackers," the company said on Monday.

Media captionWhat was in the data dump?

The statement said journalists had made "incorrect assumptions" about the number of female users on the website.

"Last week alone, women sent more than 2.8 million messages within our platform", the company said.

"The ratio of male members who paid to communicate with women on our service versus the number of female members who actively used their account (female members are not required to pay to communicate with men on Ashley Madison) was 1.2 to 1.

"These numbers are the main reason that Ashley Madison is the number one service for people seeking discreet relationships."

Prior to the hack, the firm had announced plans to float on the stock exchange in London later this year, with the aim of raising up to $200m (£134m).

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