Two Ashley Madison accounts for reality TV's Josh Duggar?


What Cosby did was a crime, although I guess maybe it wasn’t a crime because he’s not in jail. Maybe: what Cosby did was a crime at the time, and even now we can all agree that what he did was actually in itself heinous and despicable, as you say.

That said, what the Duggar clan did outside of Ashley Madison was (and hopefully still is) a crime - the sexual abuse of a minor and its subsequent coverup is disgusting.

But still, this reeks of schadenfreude-laced puritanism. “Oh, tee hee, he’s a sex-toy user… what a deviant”, we say to ourselves while clicking through to the next issue of Oh Joy Sex Toy on the same site.

I still contend that journalists have to consider the ethics of selective outing. Who gets to decide when a blatant violation of privacy should be amplified in the Public Interest - you all? Sure, fine. I just disagree with this call, as it smacks more of the Prurient Interest than the Public one.


How thoroughly do we trust the data in this dump? Is it possible that hackers seeded the account data maliciously (or ironically, or some other way) with accounts like this one?

This website was a sleaze hole for bad people. I’m not sure how much protection its members are entitled to. If the site had been a child-porn ring or a white supremacist group, would you feel that its members were entitled to privacy protection? Or would you feel that outing them is in the public good?


I think this is arguably justifiable—sometimes. It doesn’t absolve the reporter of the crime or the ethical responsibility for having committed it, but committing crimes in the pursuit of moral journalism has a somewhat honorable history.

We’re just so used to this being done by sleazy tabloids to dead children’s phones, to internet harassment, to the debased state of reportage in general and the systematic invasion of everyone’s privacy, that the idea of journalists committing crimes in pursuit of morally-justifiable ends inevitably looks like means-and-ends bullshit.


Is Carlos Danger on there?


But that is why this is newsworthy.

  1. He has spent his career trying to convince the public that people like us are deviants, when it is provable we aren’t.

  2. He is shown to be cut from the same cloth.

  3. Therefore his arguments carry less weight and are less appealing. Perhaps this will save an impressionable person from accepting them.

But that entire premise is predicated a) him being a public figure, and b) being able to report about it.



Many media outlets are by now noting in their stories on this topic that it was possible for 3rd parties to sign up anyone for an AM account without verification. That happened to me several times, for example. Kevin Rose tweeted about it happening to him. I would guess that several million of the sign-ups are bogus, at least. So without some scrutiny it is insufficient to conclude from the presence of someone’s email address or other basic information that they actually signed themselves up for or used the site.

Everyone’s happy to assume a known sleazebag has obviously been caught hypocritically sleaze-handed. But this guy would be a natural prank-signup wouldn’t he? For at least ONE of the accounts.

Feel free to carry on confirming our own preferred social/political narratives using this hack without any of the critical or technical analysis that boingboing might actually be able to muster…


Meh. Reading his profiles he was pretty vanilla.


I propose a new rule: complain about the content on BB, get a 24 hr. suspension, 48 hrs for anyone with an hours-old account.

[edit]Jumpin Jeebus, got another complainer already over at the shooting range/restaurant thread.


…and we are back to the subject of @japhroaig


You have devolved from complaining about the source of the data to the fact the quote mentions a sex toy. I think your argument may not be about the post at all. BBS serves as free therapy for so many.


Sniff if you must, but that doesn’t explain the subscription charge data.


Please draw me the social/political narrative related to Josh Duggar’s previous voluminous, repeatedly public, and ill-considered condemnations of the sexual mores of a wide swath of Americans, and then tell me about how nasty it is to point out his email address and details from the AM dump.


That would indeed require some commitment to the prank.


This kind of comment doesn’t belong on BoingBoing.



I didn’t say it was nasty, I meant it might not follow from the actually available evidence and that if we are concluding this primarily because it fits out assumptions then that’s lame.

If these accounts can be show to have been paid for by his credit card, that’s stronger evidence (though identity theft is still a thing). If the payments were recurring, it would be difficult to refute.


What Gawker reported yesterday:

Someone using a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar, with a billing address that matches the home in Fayetteville, Arkansas owned by his grandmother Mary—a home that was consistently shown on their now-cancelled TV show, and in which Anna Duggar gave birth to her first child—paid a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015.


Agreed, but I’ll refer you to @daneel’s timely post.


I suppose the remaining theoretical refuge would be that as a god-fearing and pure public figure he was too embarrassed to potentially make it known that these fraudulent billings were occurring, and so in fear and shame he allowed them to accrue? #headdesk


Krebs on Security confirms three vouched sources whose personal information (and last 4 digits of their credit cards) were in the leaked data. So, at the very least SOME of the data is accurate. It wouldn’t be trivially easy, but then it wouldn’t be THAT hard to insert people in there either. Only Ashley Madison or Josh Duggar could say for absolute certain if it’s true, and neither has much incentive to do so.

That’s painting with a pretty broad brush. You don’t know the motivations of the people that joined the site - how many people joined it out of curiosity, to see what kind of other people used the site (or to see if they could find anybody they know on it, or searching for a suspected cheating partner, etc)? How many people joined it after a fight with their partner, only to never visit it again because they realized they didn’t want to actually use it? Dan Savage’s article on the leak (where he talks about cheating being the “least worst option”) is an interesting take on this as well:

Also worth reading: this reddit thread supposedly posted by a gay man in Saudi Arabia who used the site for hookups when studying in America. Who fears being stoned to death if he gets outed.

Wow. That’s a pretty big if.