So the Ashley Madison site, designed to hook up people who want to commit adultery, was hacked, leading to the release of data about some of the website’s 30 million customers (including already disgraced “family values” activist Josh Duggar).
This has created some indignation about the hackers’ “public shaming” of would-be adulterers. But the fear of public shaming has kept people in line across all cultures for millennia, enforcing the external morality that is necessary for social order (a.k.a. “the first use of the Law”). The internet has promised to get around that with total secrecy and anonymity, but the web isn’t as secret and anonymous as people assume.
So do you consider the Ashley Madison hacks to be egregious violations of privacy, or a fitting outing of cheating husbands and wives? [Read more…]