So, many of you may have now heard about AshleyMadison.com whose tagline is “Life is Short, Have an Affair”(I would put a link, but, I’m pretty sure if you really want to go to that site, you don’t need my direction). It’s a website which explicitly exists as a match-making site for those interested in interactions in which at least one of the parties is already in a committed relationship with someone else. What you may not have heard of yet is Cheaterville.com (tagline: Don’t Be The Last to Know), in which wronged parties can post details about ex-paramours, for the purported purpose of “warning” others.
Would a suit for Libel stand against a poster on Cheaterville.com (Well, we know the answer if the allegation is true, but what if it’s not?) – Does it matter whether the individual who has been posted about is male or female (in terms of showing actual damage)? We’ve heard from social science and media over and over that while promiscuous behavior in men makes them “players” (at least a potentially positive attribute), women are more often dubbed “sluts.” Are women more hurt by such accusations online?
“Slut-shaming” is a whole different subject which I promise to post about some time soon – but in the meantime, I’ll be mulling over whether men or women are more hurt by sites like Cheaterville.com, and whether they might serve a legitimate purpose.