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Netflix Has a New Docuseries About the Ashley Madison Hack That Exposed the Personal Info of 37 Million Cheating Spouses

Manuel Romano. Shutterstock Images.

It's probably hard for you kids who've grown up in the internet dating era to imagine a time when infidelity was more … analog. Where cheating on your spouse was more of an interpersonal activity. Something that required nuance and skill. It meant boning a coworker while pretending you're working late. Meeting someone in a bar on a business trip. Perhaps having at it with a delivery man while you're husband is at the office. Possibly a neighbor. I know a former Private Investigator who was handling an insurance claim of a woman who filed saying an accident at work caused her to lose "full range of motion in her neck." That is, until her husband left for work. And the PI got video of her in the backyard with the guy from next door demonstrating that she most definitely did have full range of motion in her neck. And the case was eventually dropped. 


The point being, that unfaithful spouses in the Dating App Age got spoiled. Thanks to the enterprising visionaries at Ashley Madison, the person you wanted to tomcat around behind your loved one's back was just a few clicks away. I'm using the past tense verb because that dream of a simple life of buttering your toast on both sides without getting caught blew up like the Trinity Bomb when Ashley Madison got hacked almost 10 years ago. And Netflix has released a documentary about the relationships that were scattered by the blast and left to carry on in the nuclear wasteland of their marital Los Alamoses:

Daily Mail - A decade ago there were a whole host of famous faces - from politicians to reality stars - putting on a family-friendly façade alongside their loving wives while in the public eye.

However, behind the scenes, dozens crept onto their computers to get promiscuous with married strangers on infamous dating website Ashley Madison - which promoted itself as a place for spouses to get tangled up in steamy affairs. …

Users considered it to be a discrete site for adulterers but the curtain came tumbling down in 2015 when the dating service was hacked - leaving a slew of serial cheaters, including many high-profile celebrities, in seriously hot water. 

The group who claimed responsibility for the hack called themselves The Impact Team … demanded that the site be taken down - and, when it wasn't, they released all the 37 million records from the site onto the web for anyone to see. …

[N]o arrests were ever made and nearly a decade later, the question of who hacked Ashley Madison still remains.

Now, the headline-making scandal is being unearthed in a new Netflix docuseries entitled, Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies, And Scandal, which premiered earlier this week. …

One of the high-profile figures who was forced to face the wreckage left behind from the leak was Christian YouTube star Sam Rader, who was - and currently still is - married to social media sensation Nia.

It should be noted that, despite Sam Rader's attempts to violate 20% of the Ten Commandments, he and Nia seem very much OK with how this has all played out. (Cued up to the 8:25 mark; after they stop showing themselves playing with their kids and actually sit down to talk to Netflix):

In fact, Nia thinks they came out looking really good and appreciates the treatment they got:


And dare I say, almost grateful for the chance to talk about it:

Right down to showing us some BTS clips of her two-timin' husband offering some creative camera trick ideas to make the series all the more compelling:

Which if I'm being honest, seems deeply disturbing to me. Weirder even than signing up for an adultery app and putting all your most private info on it. But again, that's just me. I'm a product of an earlier time. Back when getting caught doing the Beast With Two Backs with your sidepiece meant shame and anguish. Where the guilty party would slink off into the shadows in disgrace and spend the next however many months trying to be the perfect spouse to the one who was done wrong. Where it would be a future of nothing but being home on time, total devotion, gifts, flowers, household chores and makeup sex. 

But that approach is so 2000s. Every new app that gets launched creates a new and more effective way to display your narcissism. Being a self-possessed Christian family vlogger who puts your private family life on display like your children are zoo animals doesn't stop just because one of you went on Ashley Madison looking for some strange. Getting exposed to the world is no time for quiet reflection or prayerful commitment to work on your relationship in private. It's the time to treat this like what it is in 2024: 


It's all about them views. Throw the kids up on your YouTube. Sit down with Netflix. Bare your soul. And above all else, overshare. Not turning this private humiliation with the rest of the would be the real sin. As it says in the Bible, those posts ain't gonna click themselves.