In 2012, a former employee claimed in a lawsuit that she was requested to create thousands of fake female accounts attractive to male customers, resulting in repetitive stress injury. In July 2016, CEO Rob Segal and newly appointed President James Millership told Reuters that the company had phased out bots by late 2015.
Segal shared an independent report by EY (Ernst & Young) which verified the phase-out.
More data (including some of the CEO's emails) was released on August 20, 2015.
The release included data from customers who had previously paid a fee to Ashley Madison to supposedly have their data deleted.
Users looking to delete their accounts, even those made without the individual's consent, are charged a fee.The lawsuit claimed that as a result Silva "developed severe pain in her wrists and forearms," and has been unable to work since 2011. The company claimed that Silva had been photographed jet-skiing, an activity that was unlikely for someone who had suffered serious injury to the hands and forearms.Ashley Madison later alleged further that Silva had kept confidential documents and sought to retrieve them.Ashley Madison employs guerrilla marketing techniques to advertise its site.One such technique has been the creation of fake criticism websites filled with ads for Ashley Madison and anonymous testimony that the site is legitimate. Ashley Madison Scams.com" was registered to Ashley Madison owner Avid Life.Biderman responded by stating that the site is "just a platform" and a website or a commercial will not convince anyone to commit adultery.