The site allows users to hide their account profiles for free.

Users looking to delete their accounts, even those made without the individual's consent, are charged a fee.

Compounding the problem is that "more men than women use the service, with the disparity increasing as they advance in age", and "Men seek sex, while women seek passion." A page on Ashley Madison, entitled "Is Ashley Madison a scam? " addressed some of these issues in an attempt to win over prospective customers and teach them best practices for using the site.

Ashley Madison had over 70,000 bots sending fake female messages to male users.

On August 24 the Toronto Police Department spoke of "two unconfirmed reports of suicides" associated with the leak of customer profiles along with extortion attempts, offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the hackers.

CEO Rob Segal said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the company is making ongoing investments to enhance privacy and security safeguards, including a partnership with Deloitte’s cyber security team.

The data disclosures in 2015 revealed that this "permanent deletion" feature did not permanently delete anything, and all data was recoverable.

Trish Mc Dermott, a consultant who helped found Match.com, accused Ashley Madison of being a "business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages, and damaged families".The lawsuit claimed that as a result Silva "developed severe pain in her wrists and forearms", and has been unable to work since 2011. The company claimed that Silva had been photographed jet-skiing, an activity that was unlikely for someone who had suffered serious injury to the hands and forearms.Ashley Madison later alleged further that Silva had kept confidential documents and sought to retrieve them.She had previously released an analysis purporting to show that only a minuscule proportion (12,000 out of 5.5 million) registered female accounts were used on a regular basis, Newitz noted a clause in the terms of service which states that some accounts are for amusement purposes only.She says Ashley Madison does not go so far as to say they are fake, but "does admit that many profiles are for 'amusement only' ".Claiming that its security had always been weak, the hackers claimed to have stolen personal information about the site's user base, and threatened to release names, home addresses, search histories and credit card numbers if the site was not immediately shut down.