And so it begins.

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72 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “15,000 Military and Government addresses, including 44 WhiteHouse.Gov addresses” was the somewhat eye-popping number I saw.

    I imagine that these are emails that the user knows his or her spouse doesn’t have access to.

    Though perhaps it’s unrealistic to say “his or her spouse” rather than “his wife” in this case. For some reason, there is a major gender skew for the website. 95% male, 5% female.

    Maybe the fact that women make less money than men means that they have less disposable income to spend signing up for websites like this one?Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

      Screening on Ashley Madison’s part is undoubtedly part of the issue in gender imbalance.
      It’s harder to find women who actually want to cheat, as opposed to
      “eventually have more than a romance with the guy.”Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

      Maybe the old saw about women having far less difficulty finding a willing partner for an affair than do men, means they don’t really need to pay for a website to help them in that quest.

      Also, the link in the OP manages the neat trick of somehow making me feel sorry for the Duggars. Whatever he’s done, I’m not sure he and his wife and family (and, family friend WITH CANCER) need hundreds or thousands of strangers berating them personally and telling them what they should do on their Facebook pages. Ugh. Not My Business.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph says:

        With the DC Madam out of business, I suppose the market for “decent conversation and maybe a bit more” has taken a bit of a nosedive in DC.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Glyph says:

        I didn’t intend you to feel sorry for the Duggar’s; but I did intend you feel sorry for the people who looked up to him who he duped.

        That is, in my experience, what many of sexual predators do: dupe people into trusting them.

        ETA: I don’t know that Josh is a predator; but he’s definitely a player in the set of people who provoke indecision; who Tod suggests should be actively abandoned by party activists.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Glyph says:

        @glyph — Well, the man used his television popularity to spread false and hateful rumors about people like me, all the while he literally embodied what he accused us of.

        So yeah, let the fucker swing in the wind.Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to veronica d says:

          So yeah, let the fucker swing in the wind.

          That go for his wife, and the family friend with cancer too? Even if it turns out the AM membership was spoofed; or that it was Duggar’s membership, but he never managed to actually hook up with anybody?

          Like I said, I’m not really discomfited by it being public knowledge (above and beyond the ethics of the AM hack/release itself), and I’m not discomfited by people viewing his membership in AM as hypocritical, and discussing it (like we are doing here; I have no wish to stifle discussion, or people’s opinions) – it’s just that I’m a bit discomfited by X number of random strangers bombing the FB page of his wife, or their friend with cancer, with personal invective.

          I get the wish to inflict pain on him, but again, something about the scale of personal attack is nagging at me. I really don’t know how to balance the karma, or if it even can or should be balanced (and this kind of relates to the “privilege” point @davidtc brought up, or your point that Duggar used his platform to harm others).

          Let’s say via his advocacy of “traditional” marriage, Duggar inflicted some harm on X people. I assume that his personal portion of responsibility for that harm may be said to be fairly small, in the sense that he was just one advocate amongst many (even if he had a larger than usual platform), and he was not responsible for actually enforcing any prohibitions or sanctions against gay people (he was just an advocate, even if a hateful and/or hypocritical one).

          So the responsibility-portion of harm that can be allocated to him personally might be viewed as, I don’t know, a papercut on each one of 1 million people.

          (And of course, he’s lost the war anyway).

          I get that each one of those people is pissed, and wants to inflict a papercut back (and maybe they deserve that); but one million people giving one guy (and his family) papercuts, seems like a different proposition than 1 guy giving 1 million people 1 papercut apiece (though in a strict utilitarian calculus, maybe not).

          Isn’t this essentially the whole microaggressions theory – that any given social slight may be small, but in aggregate, may be more serious?

          Please understand – I’m still sussing out how I feel about this and why; I am thinking out loud, not trying to construct an argument. I have no love for the Duggars.

          And, it’s satisfying to see someone who heretofore has appeared to be a bully, get his nose bloodied when the bullied suddenly get a chance to swing back.

          It’s just that I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the way that ease of internet communications scales these things – if a playground bully gets his nose bloodied by 5 people whom he personally bullied in the past, that’s just “turnabout’s fair play”; but if the bully and his whole family get harassed by 5,000 strangers at once, that’s maybe kind of another thing.

          It’s kind of like in A Clockwork Orange, when, despite all of the effed-up sociopathic stuff we’ve seen Alex do, we still cringe as his eyes are propped open, and his will is razed to the ground.

          There’s a sense that no matter what someone’s done, certain punishments maybe go too far.Report

          • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Glyph says:

            Thoughtfully put, Glyph, but you’re arguing with people addicted to their narcissistic supply,Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Glyph says:

            @glyph
            I get that each one of those people is pissed, and wants to inflict a papercut back (and maybe they deserve that); but one million people giving one guy (and his family) papercuts, seems like a different proposition than 1 guy giving 1 million people 1 papercut apiece (though in a strict utilitarian calculus, maybe not).

            And just as importantly, who appointed those people judge, jury, and executioner^Wpaper cutter?

            Josh Duggar has been in the public eye as an *adult* for four years. He worked for the FRC for 2 years. Has he actually harmed gay people *at all*? Didn’t he get into the game a little late for that? Are we to believe that the people attacking him actually sat down and reasoned out the harm he did, and did the same amount of harm back?

            And of course we don’t believe that, because the same sort of mob showed up when that pizza place owner said she wouldn’t cater a gay wedding. This was a person that literally had not harmed *anyone*, and, yet, tada, angry mob.

            It’s just that I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the way that ease of internet communications scales these things – if a playground bully gets his nose bloodied by 5 people whom he personally bullied in the past, that’s just “turnabout’s fair play”; but if the bully and his whole family get harassed by 5,000 strangers at once, that’s maybe kind of another thing.

            Yes.

            It’s the same thing as harassment, except sideways. Everyone can deal with a single person coming up to them and calling them an asshole, once. Or even a few times. But they can’t deal with someone following them around and doing that constantly. We call that harassment and people can get arrested for it.

            Likewise, people can’t deal with, instead of one person doing it multiple time, a bunch of people do it once. This hasn’t really been a problem in the past because, if, as you walk down the street, and everyone walked up and said you were an asshole…well, you *probably* deserved that! So there was never really any problem there.

            But what if you were to walk down a hypothetical street called The Internet with hundreds of millions of people on it, and 0.1% walked up and called you an asshole every day. That’s, uh, 100,000 people bothering you. If it takes you only 1 second to deal with each one, that’s…more hours than there are in the day.

            We have harassment laws because we realize that a single action, one that is otherwise legal, can be a problem when done repeatedly by a single person towards another person. What we don’t have is any sort of laws to deal with a single action done by a number of different people towards a single person, even when that number of people is very very very large.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

              BTW, this came out a little less sarcastic than I meant:

              This hasn’t really been a problem in the past because, if, as you walk down the street, and everyone walked up and said you were an asshole…well, you *probably* deserved that! So there was never really any problem there.

              I meant that, if you were suffering that sort of broad-spectrum single-shot harassment, everyone probably *thought* you deserved it, so why would anyone make laws about it? Not that those people actually *did* deserve it.

              As you point out, this is basically the theory of micro-aggression. It might be entirely reasonable and perhaps even pleasant for a native-born Indian-American to answer once ‘Where are you from?’ with ‘Cleveland’…but at some point, people constantly assuming she must be foreign turns into actual harassment, or something that is *like* harassment, even if everyone is just doing it *once* and stopping when she corrects them…because ‘everyone’ is a lot of people over the course of a lifetime.

              Likewise, it’s bad enough if everyone you know will bring up something you did to berate you about it (even if they only do it once)…people don’t need people *they don’t know at all* doing that.

              (Although, as I’ve said before, I don’t really like the term ‘micro-aggression’, because it puts a little too much blame on the people doing it, and thus is somewhat counter productive. Perhaps a better term might actually be ‘micro-harassment’ or ‘constant inadvertent harassment’.)Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to DavidTC says:

              You all are assuming that all LGBT people are well-established gay men living in friendly urban areas. But we are not. While many LGBT people are out from under the storm, many of us remain under attack. For example, laws to ban me from using public restrooms remain an active fight, and the Duggars have been pretty awful toward us. (Yeah, I get that is his mom, not him. But still, irony much.)

              Yeah, their “family friend with cancer” should be off-limits. But @glyph expressed sympathy with “the Duggars”, not their one friend.

              In any case, the story that “the gays” have won and now we should feel sorry for the bigots is utter fucking hogwash. The bigots have not quit. They are scrambling to hurt me as much as they can.

              Our murder rate is soaring this year. I suspect that, in the United States, anti-Christian murders are pretty rare. Adjust for population, and I bet they are pretty much nothing. (Here I mean people targeted for murder because they were Christian.)Report

            • Avatar Glyph in reply to DavidTC says:

              What we don’t have is any sort of laws to deal with a single action done by a number of different people towards a single person, even when that number of people is very very very large.

              And to be clear, I don’t think we’d want such a law anyway. Every individual person calling Josh Duggar an a-hole, is fully within their speech rights to do so.

              I just wish it was enough for people to know he’s an a-hole, and that other people have already told him he’s an a-hole, and that he probably already knows he’s an a-hole, without feeling the need to also add their voices to the chorus currently electronically yelling “a-hole!” at him and his wife and kids and family friends with cancer, that’s all.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Jaybird says:

      Jaybird: Maybe the fact that women make less money than men means that they have less disposable income to spend signing up for websites like this one?

      Apparently the parent corp behind AM has a similar site for women that sounds like it’s set up to help them find “sugar daddies.” It all seems to reveal our collective sexual id or something, eh?Report

    • Avatar gingergene in reply to Jaybird says:

      @jaybird Evidently the reason for the gender skew is that AM charged men for accounts, but gave them to women for free. This cache of info appears to come out of the paid accounts section. Some of the accounts also appear to be dummy accounts created for fun or by AM themselves to test their system (e.g. it is very unlikely that Tony Blair really had an account, and even less likely that if he did, that it was under his real name.)Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to gingergene says:

        What was the billing address on the credit card used to pay for the account?Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to dragonfrog says:

          I would highly recommend against anything your thinking. As a bit of friendly lawyerly advice.Report

          • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to LeeEsq says:

            Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it.

            FWIW, what I had been thinking: as I understand it, the leaked records are of credit card payments for paid accounts, and they include the card’s (hard to fake) billing name and address, alongside the (trivially easy to fake) name and email address associated with the AM account. The thing that actually provides some level of certainty of identity is the credit card billing address (e.g. in the OP, Duggar’s address).

            My understanding of @gingergene was that there were records of CC payments for an account with the name “Tony Blair” – the name on the account means nothing, but the billing address on the card would be something that could probably be checked against public records regarding where Mr. Blair has lived.

            I don’t have this data dump so I can’t check myself, but if I understood right what gingergene wrote, I suspect some British journalists are probably doing that right now.Report

        • Avatar gingergene in reply to dragonfrog says:

          I haven’t seen the credit card details, but every story I’ve read seems to assume that this is an obviously fake email (tblair@labour.gov.uk). I don’t know if that means the email is obviously not real- that wasn’t Blair’s email when he was in government, or that *obviously* Tony Blair wouldn’t have or need an AM account.

          I mean, they do have a point- I gotta imagine that not only would the PM know better than to have an AM account, but also that the skills overlap between “successful politician” and “successful at convincing people to have sex” is pretty significant (insert joke about two different forms of f***ing people here).Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to gingergene says:

            ” I gotta imagine that not only would the PM know better than to have an AM account”

            You’d think the Secretary of State would know better than to keep TS/SCI information on an unclassified server, but, well, here we are.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The entire Ashley Madison affair is an exercise in mass stupidity and wishful thinking. The people behind Ashley Madison thought they could get away with low security on a site that is specifically to facilitate adultery and cheating. They also thought they could set up a lot of dummy accounts without pissing people off. Than the Ashley Madison users thought they would not get in trouble and would not get caught. When a bunch of angry Ashley Madison users, angry at all the dummy accounts because they honestly thought they could find somebody willing to cheat with online, exploded the entire thing hilarity erupted if it wasn’t so tragic.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

      How do you know they had low security? Can you post the protocols they were using? Have you actually looked at this, or are you just assuming you know what the fuck is going on from news reports?

      THAT said, I maintain that the hackers are idiots or crusaders (not much of a difference, honestly) — they could have made a fortune off that data.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

      “I can’t believe Ashley Madison was not continent!” was the joke that made me chuckle.

      But looking at all of the dummy accounts, I realize that Ashley Madison was not really enabling adultery as much as enabling the fantasy of adultery.

      I imagine that it’s similar to how the daydreams of winning the lottery are better when you actually buy a lottery ticket.

      The fantasies of meeting a really callipygian woman and having a turbulent (yet discrete!) tumble were probably better when someone paid… erm, let me look up the cost for the site… $49 for 100 credits, $149 for 500 credits, and the “affair guarantee” package says that if you initiate a certain amount of contact, you’ll have an affair within 3 months OR YOUR MONEY BACK!!! $259 for that one.

      Given the balance of the website, I think it’s fairly easy to conclude that it didn’t really facilitate affairs for the overwhelming majority of its users.

      So it was doing the job of selling lottery tickets to people who wanted to daydream about winning the lottery.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    One slight defense is that anyone can sign up an e-mail name.

    But generally, I am not surprised to see he is there.

    My favorite part of this whole saga is the hackers seem to be Ashley Madison customers who felt duped because the overwhelming majority of people on AM were guys and a good deal of the female profiles were fake. AM worked by having guys pay, not women.Report

  4. Avatar Zane says:

    Glyph:
    Also, the link in the OP manages the neat trick of somehow making me feel sorry for the Duggars.Whatever he’s done, I’m not sure he and his wife and family (and, family friend WITH CANCER) need hundreds or thousands of strangers berating them personally and telling them what they should do on their Facebook pages.Ugh.Not My Business.

    I would normally agree with you, Glyph. I don’t care if people use websites like this-it isn’t my business. The difference in this case is that Josh Duggar used his platform on the family TV show to parlay a job at the Family Research Council where he fought against lgbt people and our relationships. He was a standard-bearer for traditional values, meaning that he also stood against heterosexuals who worked out above-board arrangements for “monogamish” or open relationships with their partners.

    Mr. Duggar wished to discourage/forbid anything other than monogamous heterosexuality. It is important for the public to know that even he failed to/chose not to live up to the standards he wished were mandatory for everyone else.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Zane says:

      “Baby! It’s not my fault! Even Josh Duggar can’t live up to your unattainable standards! Perhaps you should rethink your outdated concepts on monogamy.”Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Zane says:

      I wonder to what extent male fidelity was ever actually a part of the standard of monogamy he upheld.

      I’m at least semi-serious – to what extent was he (slash are campaigners for “traditional family values” in general) against the relationships with other partners, and to what extent is it the requirement of honesty about one’s extramarital romance, and the attendant requirement for reciprocity and equality of women’s access to flings, that he / they oppose?Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to dragonfrog says:

        I wonder to what extent male fidelity was ever actually a part of the standard of monogamy he upheld.

        Do you mean in the literal sense (Because obviously male fidelity *isn’t* part of the actual standard he upheld.), or do you mean was it part of standard he claimed to uphold?

        I can’t be bothered to read through the crap at the Family Research Council, but, yes, they are pretty strict on fidelity.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to DavidTC says:

          There are… advantages, to the immoral priest, in convincing the flock to be faithful.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to DavidTC says:

          The standard he held up in his public speech, not the standard to which he succeeded in holding his own conduct – how hypocritical he felt he was being, vs. how much he felt that part wasn’t really meant to be literal, at least for men.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to dragonfrog says:

        The answer is it depends. The Bible can be very harsh on men who commit adultery or covet another’s wife as men. King David did not get off lightly for his little dalliance with Bathsheba. Some Abrahamic cultures had a more of wink-wink nudge nudge attitude towards men’s sexuality before marriage and fidelity after marriage while respected unmarried women to be chase, unless they were you know, and faithful after marriages. Many of the Romance speaking cultures were like this. Among the English upper class, adultery was expected in both genders during the late 19th and early 20th centuries but they did seem to try towards chastity in both genders before marriage. Jewish cultures was consistently against both pre-marital sex for both genders and adultery for both genders as far as I can tell. The segregated environment that many Jews lived in before or even after Emancipation made this relatively easy to enforce.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to dragonfrog says:

        The answer is it depends. The Bible can be very harsh on men who commit adultery or covet another’s wife as men. King David did not get off lightly for his little dalliance with Bathsheba. Some Abrahamic cultures had a more of wink-wink nudge nudge attitude towards men’s sexuality before marriage and fidelity after marriage while respected unmarried women to be chase, unless they were you know, and faithful after marriages. Many of the Romance speaking cultures were like this. Among the English upper class, adultery was expected in both genders during the late 19th and early 20th centuries but they did seem to try towards chastity in both genders before marriage. Jewish cultures was consistently against both pre-marital sex for both genders and adultery for both genders as far as I can tell. The segregated environment that many Jews lived in before or even after Emancipation made this relatively easy to enforce.Report

      • Avatar Zane in reply to dragonfrog says:

        I wonder to what extent male fidelity was ever actually a part of the standard of monogamy he upheld.

        The FRC certainly celebrates heterosexual fidelity. Some of the talk about the brand of Christianity the Duggars subscribe to does indicate that a lack of fidelity on the part of men is really the fault of women (wives not offering sexual satisfaction, other women being “seductive”). I don’t know if that really represents his value and belief system, of course, and the second “defense” wouldn’t even be plausible in this situation.Report

      • Avatar gingergene in reply to dragonfrog says:

        As others have said, the philosophy is very much about both genders practicing monogamy exclusively within the confines of heterosexual marriage. But male sexuality is portrayed as a “gas pedal”, while female sexuality is portrayed as a “brake pedal” (true story: this analogy was heavily emphasized in my church).

        Essentially: men want (need?) sex, and are virtually helpless to control themselves if it is offered. Women’s sexual desires are much more controllable*, and so they must avoid tempting men into inappropriate sex (that is, outside of marriage).

        Men are portrayed as easily seduced and especially aroused by visual elements of female sexuality, which can get defined down to Victorian “Heaven help me, a bare ankle!” standards in some churches. It’s kind of amazing that fundamentalists never developed a burkha for Christian women.

        Here’s a sample from a woman’s perspective:

        Let’s try and put ourselves in a guy’s shoes. I think we can all agree that as girls, exercise is important to us. We want to stay healthy and are often working on getting fit. We work out and stay away from carbs or sweets. We use all of our willpower to not eat the chocolate cake on the counter! Now, let’s pretend that someone picked up that chocolate cake and followed us around all the time, 24/7. We can never get away from the chocolate, it’s always right there, tempting us and even smelling all ooey gooey and chocolate-y. Most of us, myself included, would find it easy to break down and eat the cake. And we would probably continue to break down and eat cake, because it would always be there. Our exercise goals would be long gone in no time.

        * I never once heard any kind of discussion in my church related to the idea that women might want sex as much or more than men, or even at all. Both boys and girls were taught that men want sex and will use love to get it, while women want love and will use sex to get it.Report

        • Avatar gingergene in reply to gingergene says:

          Notice that in the analogy above, women are equated to chocolate cake! No where in this analogy is there room for the idea that chocolate cake might have an opinion on being eaten, or not being eaten. Chocolate cake’s opinions, needs and desires are not considered, because of course, chocolate cake doesn’t have opinions, needs or desires. If the dieter in question decides to eat the chocolate cake, the chocolate cake will get eaten, and if the chocolate cake doesn’t like that, well, it shouldn’t have been so delicious.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to gingergene says:

          Ah.

          Men and women should be strictly monogamous. When men fail, it’s women’s fault; when women fail, it’s women’s fault.

          So, “infidelity is a terrible sin no matter who commits it. Here’s a get out of jail free card for men who commit infidelity. Please do not read between the lines, particularly not on page 212, paragraphs 3 and 4.”

          Which suggests to me that any call for male fidelity was carefully structured to never really inconvenience any men who wanted some action on the side.Report

          • Avatar gingergene in reply to dragonfrog says:

            @dragonfrog Essentially, the idea is that men are all alcoholics at a bar, and women are the bartenders. The men have a problem, sure, but they can’t drink unless *someone* pours them a beer!Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to gingergene says:

          It’s kind of amazing that fundamentalists never developed a burkha for Christian women.

          Fundamentalists? How about plain ol’ Catholics?Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko says:

            Veils came from Christian fashion, ya know?

            The only LAW for muslims is to keep one’s breasts covered (and other portions like that). The CUSTOM is for people to wear loose fitting garments, and to “dress modestly” (and what that means is highly dependent on where you are).Report

          • Avatar gingergene in reply to Burt Likko says:

            Oh, there have been and still are tons of restrictions on what women can wear to church or in public, but there’s never (to my knowledge) been anything as restrictive as a burkha, which is something I find surprising. There is literally no difference between the logic employed by conservative Christians and Muslims: men can’t control themselves if they see a seductive woman. The only thing that changes is how “seductive” is defined.

            FWIW, I don’t see much practical difference between the Catholic requirement that women cover their heads and the Jewish requirement that men do. By the time Vatican II rolled around, forgetful women and girls were grabbing a handy kleenex to plop onto their heads before they went into mass. It was not a thing treated with much seriousness by most, and of course post-Vatican II, it is no longer required at all.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to gingergene says:

              “I don’t see much practical difference between the Catholic requirement that women cover their heads and the Jewish requirement that men do.”

              The Catholic requirement that women cover their heads stemmed from the fact that in Imperial Rome, whores were forbidden by law from covering their heads. If you saw a woman wearing something on her head, she was married; if you saw a woman without, she was fair game.

              The Catholic church’s requirement that women cover their heads was a statement of equality.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to gingergene says:

              This lives on in school dress codes… Girls distract boys from learning and need to cover up. I read a headline (disclaimer: headline only) about a girl sent home for exposing her collarbone.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Kazzy says:

                My high school (late 70s) had uniforms for girls, but we boys could wear essentially anything, as long is it included long trousers, a shirt or t shirt, and shoes.

                Having said that, several girls wore their skirts so short they barely covered their underwear, which I think defeated the whole idea.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to J_A says:

                I still find it odd that many school uniforms for girls/young women include relatively short skirts (think the archetypal Catholic school girl uniform… which still reigns supreme…). It seems to both sexualize them and then punish them for that. It’s gross, really.

                And it completely ignores some very basic truths about biology and young women and development and the like. My last school had all sorts of egregious (by my standards but I was the crazy guy that thought we shouldn’t slut shame so what do I know) situations arise from the dress code. One girl — who had the audacity to develop relatively early AND hit a growth spurt — was told she *couldn’t* wear the skirt and had to wear the pants because she showed too much leg. And I will tell you that while her skirt did ride high, she (like almost all her classmates) wore some sort of shorts underneath, a fact that could not be unknown because 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-year-old girls have the unavoidable habit of sitting, laying, and moving in the manner of the children they still are which inevitably leads to skirts ending up akimbo in all sorts of ways. Furthermore, her skirt was no higher than her spindly classmate who was tall and lanky but remained relatively prepubescent. But because the one girl looked like a woman and the other looked like a girl, the former was ‘disciplined’.

                It was really, REALLY disgusting. But no one seemed to think so. It was among the many reasons I had to make a departure from that place.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Zane says:

      @zane
      It is important for the public to know that even he failed to/chose not to live up to the standards he wished were mandatory for everyone else.

      The public *knows*. We’ve known for days.

      This OP is, meanwhile, really about the internet mob after Josh.

      As people know, I have a pretty low opinion of internet mobs, and I especially caution we ought to be very very suspicious of our reasoning when we decide the mob is ‘reasonable’ or ‘just informing people’ and *coincidentally* the target of that mob happens to be someone we don’t like or agree with. That’s exactly the point we need to check our logic.Report

      • Avatar Zane in reply to DavidTC says:

        The public *knows*. We’ve known for days.

        This OP is, meanwhile, really about the internet mob after Josh.

        Fair point. In my defense, I didn’t know about it. I read the linked piece and learned of his membership in the “cheater’s website.” I really didn’t pay any attention to the responses which were the point of the story. I’m clearly not pulling my weight in following celebrity news.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Zane says:

          Yeah, sorry, my response came across a bit harsh.

          I’m just kinda disappointed whenever an internet mob goes after someone on the left, we talk about here, and it’s all horrible, the person’s life is ruined for some sort of trivial offense, or something that should be between him and his family, or needs to be tried in court, or whatever…and when they go after someone on the right, we ignore the mob and talk about instead whatever bad thing the person did. (Except for the few people on the right here, who do the exact opposite.)

          Don’t get me wrong, we have the perfect right to talk about revelations about a public figure, and *we’re* presumably not the people harassing him on facebook and whatnot. It just…I dunno. I’m thinking internet mobs are turning into a larger danger than we realize, consisting of a lot of people who, individually, do very little harm, but when put together…

          And I think the only way to deal with them is to realize they’re *never* a good thing, and at some point, that’s going to have to involve us saying ‘That is horrible and should not be happening.’ when it’s a target we *really really dislike*.

          Which I *think* is why the OP exists, maybe…I’m not even sure what zic was trying to say. It was really just pointing out what was happening to him without comment. There probably should have been comment.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to DavidTC says:

        The OP is about all the people about to be hurt; some due to internet mobs, some because they’re about to discover how fragile fidelity can be, some because their inspirations and leaders are about to have their halos slip.

        I’ve long said I fear corporate spying and data collection more than government; this is part of why.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Zane says:

      No, I get the “hypocrisy” angle, and I am aware that he is responsible for his actions and reasonable repercussions thereof. I’m not really cringing at the fact that the information has been made public, in and of itself.

      I’m bothered more by the reaction – the fact that strangers are mobbing a page, for donations to a family friend with cancer, and telling his wife that if she doesn’t divorce him, she’s stupid, etc.etc. For all we know he didn’t even ever follow through with actually successfully cheating (and of course, maybe his name is spoofed) – and even if he did actually cheat, I just don’t know that directing vitriol at his wife, and the family friend with cancer, is an appropriate response for all that.

      I also have a weird thing percolating in my mind about the…”scalability” of shaming, for lack of a better word. Supposedly, humans mostly tend to maintain about two hundred or so active social contacts at any given time, and the theory is that this tracks back way way back into our history; so far back, that 200 is about the max size of a primate troop.

      When one monkey pissed off the troop, and 199 other monkeys were pelting him with rotten fruit, it was bad…but maybe that is better than being pelted by every monkey in the world with an Internet connection.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Glyph says:

        @glyph
        When one monkey pissed off the troop, and 199 other monkeys were pelting him with rotten fruit, it was bad…but maybe that is better than being pelted by every monkey in the world with an Internet connection.

        Yes.

        Basically, the rule of thumb I’m starting to come up with is, if you’ve never interacted with someone in *any way*, if you have never (individually) spoken to them, and they have never (individually) spoken to you, you have no right to suddenly start interacting *with them* solely to criticize their behavior. (1)

        Well, not ‘no right’, really. It’s more a social norm that ought to exist. A new one, one that’s really never existed before, but *needs* to exist in a day of instantaneous communications with anyone on the planet. You cannot make first contact solely to complain, because, if *you* can do that, tens of thousands of people can also do that, and, thus, categorical imperative.

        1) This doesn’t apply to people who are supposed to *represent* you, like politicians or union reps or whatever. Pretty much the first time anyone speaks to them is because they did something wrong…so they have a communications channel that can *handle* that.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

          Oh, and this rule of thumb is really something just applicable to the internet, because, as you said, the problem is excessive people. I’m not sure we need it *locally*, or even physically.

          If, for example, a restaurant in another state refuses to serve gay people, I don’t have any real ‘right’ to go to their Facebook and start yelling.

          If a restaurant in town, where I often eat does that, I certainly do have the right to complain to them, either in person or on the internet. (Although note complaining on the internet will certainly be drowned out by a bunch of people who *don’t* have a right to complain.) Even a right to organize a boycott and picket the place, if I want.

          In between those two ends, the situation gets trickier.

          Like what if it’s a restaurant in town, but where I’ve never ate? Or a few towns over, easily within driving distance?

          Those…I don’t know. I tend towards the idea that if you can *physically* get yourself there, that place can actually manage to deal with you. The problem with the internet is that attacks take *no effort*…once the complainers have to actually *be there*, the number is usually well within coping distance.(1) So maybe *that* should be the rule…either prior interaction, or you track them down…physically…oh, hell, I just encouraged everyone to be stalkers, didn’t I?

          1) OTOH, now we’re in all sorts of interesting privilege things about who has cars and can take time off work and everything, and have disregarded the leveling influence of the internet.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Glyph says:

        I suppose it’s outlandish to consider that he might want to stop reading his facebook page?Report

  5. Avatar Damon says:

    SOOOO glad I didn’t sign up for AM 🙂Report

  6. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    FWIW, from the Duggar family website:

    Statement from Josh Duggar:

    I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have been unfaithful to my wife.

    I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.

    I have brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions.

    The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country I was hiding my own personal failures.

    As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

    I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time.

    Josh Duggar

    Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Road Scholar says:

      If only Hillary could apologize like that.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Road Scholar says:

      Their industry is big on redemption stories.

      They don’t discuss the recidivism rate nearly as much; glossing that with terms like “I’m imperfect.”Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to zic says:

        Yeah, guys, if you understand that universe…that’s not an ‘apology’. I mean, it is an apology, but what it *really* means is, in two years, Josh Duggar will have a redemption story to tell. This will make him *better* in their eyes.

        I know this sounds surreal. From the outside, it is.

        Remember ‘I am not a witch’ lady? That was part of a redemption story we didn’t understand, where she said on Politically Incorrect years ago that she had ‘dabbled in witchcraft’, had lunch on a satanic altar with blood on it, etc, etc,but she pulled herself out.

        This, in the evangelical universe, made her *look better*. So she told it on PI, expecting it to do the same there. Of course, it *actually* just made everyone else very confused, both at the time, and years later when the clip resurfaced when she was running for for office, and she ‘had to deny’ being a witch.

        Well, she thought she had to deny it, because *she* thought people thought she *actually* was a witch, whereas most people who saw the clip thought she was stupid and/or lying, because normal Christians don’t actually ‘dabble’ in witchcraft like that, anymore than they dabble in Islam or Taoism. Thus her rebuttal made her look even *more* stupid.

        But that’s how the evangelical bubble works: The more you have sinned, the better person you are for changing. As someone who is interested in the criticism of the (frankly insane) evangelical movement in this country, I’ve read some interesting stories about evangelical leaders and speakers who have had their sins *debunked*.

        Josh, of course, now has a *real* sin, and even better, it’s one that didn’t happen yet…he just *planned* to sin, and then God exposed him before he could. He’ll get a year probation from the circuit and come back all tearful and full of redemption.Report

  7. Avatar zic says:

    And today, in the invasion-of-privacy department, we learn that Anna Duggar will not leave her husband, Josh, and that the mother of a one-month-old (+ 3 toddlers) will absorb some of the blame for his actions onto herself.

    “Maybe not publicly, ever, but privately, there will be some suggestion of whether or not she should have been more aware of the pressures Josh was under, of the issues he was facing, and how she could have better counseled him or helped him,” the source said.

    This particular privacy invasion (from Raw Story) goes on to suggest the pressures Josh might have been under, with a quote from Josh’s Mom last year:

    Be available. Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has. You always need to be available when he calls.

    So I just want to say, in case you’re an impressionable young father: It takes some time to recover from child birth. You can learn some other ways to deal with the unbearable pressure of a boner; and you can do so without resorting to cheating websites. But since you’re dudes, and I’m not, maybe you have some alternative suggestions in case the pressure is building.

    Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to zic says:

      It takes some time to recover from child birth. You can learn some other ways to deal with the unbearable pressure of a boner; and you can do so without resorting to cheating websites.

      I am assuming the ways you are speaking of are masturbation and/or oral sex from his wife.

      In which case I have to point out that it’s entirely likely masturbation was entirely off the table for Josh. (That’s a sin, because people have really really bad reading comprehension of the Bible.)

      And it’s likely oral sex is simply not something that happens at all in their house, due to various hang-ups about sex imparted within that subculture. Their particular sect of evangelicalism might even assert that *that* is also a sin, but even if it’s not considered ‘a sin’ within a marriage, it’s possibly something they’re not comfortable with. (Being taught sex is dirty dirty dirty and then being asked to use your mouth with it…)

      Yes, *normal* couples, with healthy relationships and healthy understandings of sex, will figure out some way around ‘we can’t have normal sex’ that both pre-birth and post-birth can entail, either ‘We’ll try something else’ or ‘Do it yourself’, But ‘normal couples with healthy relationships and healthy understandings of sex’ almost certainly does not describe that family.

      That said…for all we know, this is complete blame-deflecting bullshit, and that was all happening anyway, and he still cheated.Report