When the Ashley-Madison hack revealed that the vast majority of female profiles on the “dating” site were fake, three groups of people already knew that. A long time ago.
One of those groups includes all of the people on Earth that have more than five minutes of experience in the business world. If you are building a business that only has value if populated by lots of users on day one, you can’t get there from here. At least not legally, or ethically.
And if you do, there is some special case going on.
There are many dating websites. Can there be that many special cases? They all seemed to be populated with hot people on day one. (Otherwise they would not be in business today.) Did any of them get there organically, or even honestly? Again, anyone with five minutes of business experience already knows the answer, statistically speaking.
The second group of people that knew the dirty truth long ago are the people who have spent more than sixty second on any of the big dating sites and also have an IQ over 80. I have sampled most of the famous-name dating sites (Why would I try just one?) and the fake profiles could not be more obvious. They are no better disguised than a mall Santa. Single people laugh about it. But I doubt most of them know the percentage of fakes. It varies by site. I have seen a few dating sites this year with 95% fakes (quite obviously), so wait for more on this story.
The third group of people who knew all along about the fake profiles includes anyone who was a founder or early employee at any of the dating sites. My guess is that many of them thought they would cheat the membership numbers in the beginning to get traction, then go legit over time. Then they got greedy. And obviously they knew what the competing sites were doing. It probably seemed normal.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go back to reading the news that men look for sex when they are not getting enough. I am still in shock to learn of this.