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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.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.The demand was driven by the site's policy of not deleting users' personal information following their invoiced requests.Any follow-up messages between the two members are free after the communication has been initiated.Ashley Madison also has a real-time chat feature where credits buy a certain time allotment.Ashley Madison employs guerrilla marketing techniques to advertise its site.

In 2012, the company was sued by former employee Doriana Silva, who stated that in preparation for the launch of the company's Portuguese-language website, she was assigned to create over a thousand bogus member profiles within a three-week period in order to attract paying customers, and that this caused her to develop repetitive stress injury.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' ".A statement denouncing proposed ads was made in 2009 when Ashley Madison attempted to purchase C0,000 worth of advertising from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on the Toronto streetcar system.Biderman offered to subsidize the TTC fare rate to .50 from .75 but the offer was declined.