Late Sunday night, hackers announced that they had extracted data from Ashley Madison, the Match.com for philanderers. The hackers say they’ve obtained the identities of some 37 million users of Ashley Madison and its sister cheating sites, and that they will post more and more usernames each day unless the Ashley Madison network is removed from the internet.
This, understandably, has made the denizens of r/adultery—Reddit’s surprisingly active message board for cheaters, two-timers, and other havers of extramarital affairs—nervous. Ashley Madison was the hookup interchange of choice for many r/adultery posters, and the forthcoming data dump could mean an unwelcome comeuppance. Several posters are fretting that their marriages will end once the hackers dump all their info.
Fortunately, several Redditors on r/Adultery have plans: Plans that will protect them from the wrath of their scornful wives; plans that will prevent their cuckolded partners from finding them out.
Plans that are incredibly, incredibly stupid.
IDEA 1: Gaslight your wife
Foolproof! Just change your profile to match the information of your wife, and then pretend that SHE signed up for Ashley Madison, and not you! She’ll definitely fall for that, because she is the dumbest person in the universe! Marriage saved!
Idea 2: Downvote the story out of existence.
The logic here is that, if all the adulterers on Reddit get together, and give downvotes to Reddit links about this international news story, the story itself will cease to exist. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Could Anthony Wiener still be in office today if he had gotten his staff to downvote stories about his extramarital affair? Could we have avoided the 2008 financial crisis if the collected employees of Lehman Brothers had downvoted the stock market crash? Really makes you think.
Idea 3: Women are bad with the computers
The most common and oft-repeated idea, however, was that the existence of this story did not matter, because of the—undebateable!—fact that women suck at computers. Most women probably don’t even know how to turn on a computer, much less search a website for their husband’s name!
“Ask yourself,” one Redditor suggested “Is she tech savy [sic]?”
Another Redditor agreed, citing an earlier precedent of hacked private information:
“My wife and mother,” the Redditor wrote, “still don’t know what Jennifer Lawrence’s tits look like and they never will.”
Idea 4: Literally be Shaggy
But what if your wife somehow figures out how to work a computer, or a smartphone, or a tablet, or any of the other billions of devices that connect to the Internet? What then?
Well, my friend, that’s when you employ the Shaggy defense.
“You can say someone must have stolen you info and used it for AM,” Redditor juststartedthis offered. “Deny all knowledge until the very end.”
In other words: