“Ashley Madison” on Netflix: Documentary about cyber attack on dating portal

“Ashley Madison”
Hacked cheating portal brought thousands of affairs to light: Now those affected are speaking out on Netflix

Sam Rader and his wife Nia are two of the protagonists in “Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies and the Scandal”

© ZUMA Press / Imago Images

When the cheating portal Ashley Madison was hacked in the summer of 2015, quite a few people trembled at the consequences. The hackers published sensitive and private data, user names and company internal information. Netflix has now spoken to some of them.

“Life is short. Have an affair” – this short slogan was enticing Ashley Madison has been attracting new customers for years. Most of them were men, but we don’t find out that in the first episode of the new Netflix documentary “Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies and the Scandal.”

“Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies and Scandal” on Netflix

In three episodes, the makers tell the sometimes unbelievable story of the dating portal. Starting in the noughties, when Tinder and Co. did not yet determine the everyday lives of most singles in the world, then CEO Noel Biderman made Ashley Madison the most notorious site on the Internet. Married people could register there and connect with other users who were also unhappily married and looking for an affair. A few of these users have agreed to tell their stories for the Netflix documentary.

The story of YouTube vlogger Sam Rader is probably the most exciting in the documentary. The picture that Radar paints of himself at the beginning of the documentary is that of a slightly naive romantic who was looking for cinematic love before he met his wife Nia. But after the wedding and the hard everyday life of being a parent, things changed. Visibly distressed, Rader explains that he signed up for Ashley Madison. His username back then: “dirty_little_secret_man”. He wrote to women around him, but nothing more happened. However, one senses right from the start that there is a lot more to Rader’s story.

Shrill personalities and “victims” like Sam Rader

In the summer of 2015, employees and CEO Biderman received a message on their computers that would change everything. The “Impact Team” contacted them for the first time. They had all of Ashley Madison’s data and would publish it if the portal was not closed. For a company that had lied for years and claimed that its customers’ data was safe, the cyberattack was nothing less than a catastrophe. And for Sam Rader, too, the cyber hack was a turning point in his life.

Rader was just one of the men whose affairs came to light in the leak. Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is said to have had an account, as did Canadian politician Tony Clement and conservative Christian influencer Josh Duggar, who has since been convicted of sexual crimes.

“Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies and Scandal” has everything fans could want from a crime documentary on Netflix. Megalomaniacal entrepreneurs, shrill figures like ex-sales vice president Evan Back and also influencer Sam Rader, who outwardly appears to be a God-fearing Christian while leading a double life. The documentary benefits from these protagonists, who fill an already exciting story with life and a pinch of crazy.

For years, Ashley Madison showed people what many people already knew. “We are just a platform. No website or 30-second commercial will convince someone to cheat. People cheat because their lives don’t work,” Biderman once said about his portal. He was probably right about that. But what Biderman didn’t say and what three episodes on Netflix clearly demonstrate are the consequences that can have when human abysses meet the greed for profit of a few.

source site-8