Why Is It Called Ashley Madison? Netflix Doc Scandal Name Explained

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Sam and Nia

Netflix recently released a three-part documentary titled Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal, and while some may be familiar with what happened in the shocking case, many don't know the reasoning behind its name.

Why is the Website Called Ashley Madison?

Nia Rader
Nia Rader

The Ashley Madison scandal occurred in 2015 when an anonymous group of hackers known as The Impact Team targeted a website known as Ashley Madison, resulting in a data breach that leaked the personal information of millions of users.

The leaked information included full names, addresses, search history, and credit card information of the users.

It is important to remember exactly what the Ashley Madison platform is to understand its name the best.

With a tagline that read "Life is short. Have an affair," Ashley Madison is (yes, it is still active) a dating and affair website for married individuals looking to anonymously cheat on their spouse.

The origin of the name is actually quite simple. At the time the site was created, Ashley and Madison were the two most popular female first names in the United States.

Why Was the Ashley Madison Hack Such a Big Deal?

Aside from extramarital affairs being generally considered immoral, the Ashley Madison data breach was major news for other reasons.

The biggest issue that arose was, despite people's opinions on whether using the site is wrong or right, millions of people wrongfully had a lot of their most important personal information leaked, which presented an incredibly big issue in the world of hacking.

With names, addresses, and credit card information out in the public, it would be fairly easy for any experienced hacker to use them for illegal purposes.

The data breach also caused a major fuss in the celebrity world, as it was revealed multiple politicians, high-ranking public figures, and other celebrities were revealed to have accounts on the site.

It is also important to mention that the data breach led to many suicides in the months and years following, another obvious reason that the scandal in general was so impactful.

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal is available to stream on Netflix.

- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.