Last week, Gizmodo claimed that an investigation showed most of the female user profiles on Ashley Madison were either fake or inactive—the same complaint hackers had about the site before leaking a massive amount of data—and now the cheating website is hitting back. "Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated," Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison's parent company, says in a statement picked up by Reuters. In fact, the company claims that not only have hundreds of thousands of people signed up for Ashley Madison accounts in the past week, but 87,596 of those people are women.
Today's statement notes that an unnamed reporter—presumably referring to the Gizmodo writer—incorrectly calculated the number of active female users when looking at the leaked data, and that in truth, "last week alone, women sent more than 2.8 million messages within our platform." Ars Technica notes that there's no way to confirm the number of new sign-ups, and as for those 2.8 million messages, "the company ... made no assurances that the female messages weren't generated by automated scripts." And Engadget notes that while Avid Life Media's statement also claims the ratio of men to active ladies on the site is 1.2 to 1, the company "isn't outlining the ratio of real to fake women, so it's not clear whether real women are bountiful or needles in the proverbial haystack." On another note, the leaked Ashley Madison data revealed that Avid Life Media had been "struggling to sell itself or raise funds" in the three years before the hack, Reuters reports.