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Ashley Madison leak: Which cities do users live in?

On Tuesday, 33m users of adultery dating site Ashley Madison had their names, addresses, and credit card information released onto the deep web by a group of hackers calling themselves “Impact Team”.

For most of the internet, this is a chance to evaluate their approach to internet privacy, and decide where they stand ethically on downloading the data in order to see how many politicians are in there. For us, though, it’s a tempting opportunity to find out where in the world these cheat-hungry users actually lived. 

Over at data visualisation site Dadaviz, CEO Jishai Evans has broken down the data by age, location, hair colour, eye colour, and all manner of other characteristics. Luckily for us, Evans has also come through with a chart ranking the 25 cities with the most Ashley Madison accounts. Here it is:

Ashley Madison has over 30m users worldwide, which makes this a pretty big dataset, and, therefore, pretty reliable. However, it’s worth noting that we can’t really say Sao Paulo and New York are the most cheat-prone cities in the world: the figures aren’t per capita, and are anyway contingent on cheaters’ likelihood to use a site like Ashley Madison.


Dating sites and apps are notoriously popular in New York, while Brazil has one of the highest rates of internet usage in Latin America. Cities where people are less internet-savvy, meanwhile would slide down the rankings, even if adultery was rife there. 

The site has launched in different languages in cities around the world, but originated as an English-speaking site in Canada. The fact it has existed in its English language version for the longest explains the high proportion of US cities on the list: in fact, the biggest surprise of all may be that London comes 9th, behind two non-English speaking cities. Props to your fidelity, Londoners. 


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