Extracurricular Activities

More than 74,000 accounts on Ashley Madison adultery site had .edu email addresses. Which college has the most participation on the website for affairs?

August 21, 2015
 

The hack of the Ashley Madison website, where those seeking extramarital affairs could theoretically communicate privately, has led to much analysis of the 36 million names of registrants now publicly available. More than 15,000 accounts, for example, were hosted by government agencies or the military, according to The Hill.

It turns out that there are far more .edu email addresses than there are .gov or .mil. Inside Higher Ed's IT team downloaded the database hackers have posted and found 74,468 unique email addresses (from among the 83,863 .edu addresses over all, with thousands having registered more than once).

Several important cautions about the data: Ashley Madison does not verify email addresses, although the advantage of the website was supposed to be confidentiality, and communication between would-be adulterers would have been difficult with a totally fake address. Many colleges and universities offer email addresses for alumni as well as students and current and former employees, so it's unclear what percentage of these addresses are those of employees. But many colleges also have multiple addresses for email, such as "engineering.name.edu." Inside Higher Ed's tally does not include those additional email addresses.

To those whose email accounts are in the database, don't worry -- we're not naming names.

Many posting to Twitter seem to think that sociology professors (for their scholarship) may be well represented on the list.

Our list of the top 10 .edu names represented in Ashley Madison registrations follows.

With the caveats noted above, here is a list of the top 10:

Rank University # of Accounts
1. Michigan State University 696
2. Pennsylvania State University 679
3. Kent State University 653
4. Virginia Tech 561
5. Ivy Tech Community College 560
6. Virginia Community Colleges 541
7. Ohio State University 487
8. University of Minnesota 485
9. University of Michigan 450
10. New York University 438

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