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Monday, August 31, 2015

If you thought Charlestown was the center for morality and ethics, you were wrong

Charlestown and Richmond tops for cheaters
By Will Collette

The hacking of Ashley Madison, a Canadian-based website for married adults willing to pay a monthly subscription fee to look to extra-marital sex, has gotten a lot of media buzz.

Apparently, the hackers down-loaded all or most of the names and e-mail addresses of the site’s more than 30 million registered users worldwide.

The list itself has been published on and off the web – moving around, appearing and disappearing.

But the list is now in enough hands that lots of data is being developed from the Ashley Madison hack to expose a number of conservative hypocrites (among them Josh Duggar).

The data-crunching reports also give you some surprising insights into where people who are looking to a little something, something on the side are concentrated.

Charlestown, to my amazement, is one such surprising place. So is our neighbor Richmond. And I'm NOT making any of this up.

Sure, it’s a shock to see Alabama top the US list for rankings of the states, just as it is not a surprise that Colorado and Washington, DC came in second and third. Rhode Island came in 14th.

The local Patch news web sites are running their own story that lists the top twenty Rhode Island communities with residents looking to Ashley Madison for hook-ups.

That list of twenty is:
Gross number of entries in Ashley Madison's database
  1. Providence – 13,061
  2. Newport – 9,461
  3. Warwick – 5,943
  4. Cumberland – 4,273
  5. Barrington – 3,926
  6. Cranston – 3,409
  7. Pawtucket – 3,160
  8. Smithfield – 2,974
  9. Richmond – 2,266
  10. Charlestown – 2,251
  11. Woonsocket – 2,065
  12. Coventry – 1,852
  13. West Warwick – 1,411
  14. North Kingstown – 1,219
  15. Westerly – 1,110
  16. East Providence – 1,021
  17. East Greenwich - 958
  18. Hopkinton – 832
  19. North Providence - 707
  20. Narragansett – 682
Richmond and Charlestown rank only #9 and #10 in terms of the total number of Ashley Madison subscribers. But when you break it down on a per capita basis, we blow away the rest of the field.

Obviously Providence, as RI’s most populous city, ranks #1 with 13.061 paid subscribers. Bearing in mind that the Ashley Madison site is aimed at married people who want to cheat, the pool of likely subscribers are the 47,328 Providence residents who are currently married according to the US Census and maybe the 18,490 who are separated or divorced.

Doing the math, it looks like one out of every five (19.8%) married, separated or divorced Providence residents appear to subscribe to Ashley Madison.

Now let’s do the numbers for Richmond and Charlestown.

The Census shows Richmond has 3,640 residents who are currently married and another 653 who are divorced or separated for a total of 4,293 potential Ashley Madison subscribers.

With 2,266 actual subscribers, more than half of potential Richmond subscribers signed up – 53%!

In Charlestown, the Census numbers show 3,809 currently married and another 596 who are separated or divorced for a total potential Ashley Madison subscriber pool of 4,405.

Of those 2,251 actually subscribed. That’s 51% of the potential pool of customers

But there’s a twist. According to CBS News, of the 31 million Ashley Madison subscribers, only 5.5 million of the members are women (about 18%).

But even that 4:1 male to female ratio is doubtful. Other number crunchers have determined that most of the female entries are faked (with some on-line sex entrepreneurs hiring staff to post Ashley Madison profiles to lure men to pay-sites for cyber-sex).

Further, the stolen data also allowed number-crunchers to analyze actual usage and lo and behold, almost no women actually use the Ashley Madison site. Of the chat system users, only 0.02% are women. Of those members who checked for replies, only 0.007% are women.

Actual usage, broken down by gender. You have to wonder WHO IS IT all those guys are talking to?

Thus it appears that 99.9% of Ashley Madison users are men.

If we assume that 99.9% of Richmond’s and Charlestown’s Ashley Madison subscribers are men, here’s what you get.

In Richmond, there are 2,570 men aged 18 to 64 and another 362 who are 65 and older, for a total of 2,932 adult men. There are 2,266 Ashley Madison subscribers in Richmond, making it seem like four out of five Richmond guys are members.

In Charlestown, 2,409 are men aged 18 to 64, plus another 662 older men for a total of 3,071. There are 2,251 Ashley Madison subscribers or theoretically three out of four Charlestown men.

Despite the hack and the risk of humiliation that has already led to at least two suicides, Ashley Madison reports that people are still signing up in droves, according to the BBC, and “hundreds of thousands” signed up just last week alone.

As you might expect, there is a lot of advice and assistance going on-line to help Ashley Madison subscribers to find out if they’ve been hacked or outed by the theft of the website’s data. 

Microsoft security specialist Troy Hunt created a web tool to allow you to check to see if your e-mail address or someone you know was on the list stolen by the hackers on any website (not just Ashley Madison). The site can also tell you if your e-mail has been “pasted” – meaning posted on the web illicitly.

I have not seen the actual list to see who among our local paragons of virtue have signed up, but inevitably, there is a good chance the list will be republished.

I say with total certainty that I’m not a subscriber. For one thing, I’m too cheap. For another, Cathy has often told me that when men my age start hanging out on social media, they do so to troll for women. That’s why, to the amazement of many of my friends, I am not even on Facebook.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a lot of jumped up, holier-than-thou solid Charlestown citizens whose name and e-mail addresses are on that list.