Josh Duggar’s masked Ashley Madison profile photo didn’t save the former 19 Kids and Counting star from being outed as one of the millions of users with accounts on the cheating website, but now Ashley Madison is touting cartoon masquerade masks as a way for affair seekers like Josh Duggar to protect their identities.
As Gawker reports, Josh Duggar’s name was found in the Ashley Madison account data leaked by hackers last August. Josh had two paid accounts on the website, which touts itself as a way for people in relationships to discreetly cheat on their significant others. For one of his profile photos, Josh decided to go all Fifty Shades of Grey (or Eyes Wide Shut) by obscuring his face with an oversized masquerade mask graphic.
— Gawker (@Gawker) October 26, 2015
Now CNN Money is reporting that Ashley Madison has introduced masks as a “new” security feature that users can add to their profile photos to protect their identities.
“We respect your need for discretion so we’ve added some tools to keep your identity a secret,” Ashley Madison’s new profile page reads. “Upload a new photo and you will have the option to crop it and add a mask!”
— CNN (@CNN) February 2, 2016
Josh Duggar’s now-infamous profile picture didn’t inspire this “new” security measure — according to the ISYS6621: Social Media for Managers blog, the mask option was already available in 2013. In other words, Ashley Madison is misleading new users if it’s touting this as a new way for wannabe cheaters to hide their identities. The mask security feature also offers no protection from hackers — Josh was exposed because the hackers released all of his account information, including his name, credit card info, and billing address.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, the full photo that Josh Duggar used for his Ready4thisDC Ashley Madison profile was also posted on his Instagram page (without the cartoon mask, of course). It was taken during a trip to Israel, and it shows Josh holding a large piece of shrapnel from a rocket.
“Sderot, #Israel is less than 1 mile from Hamas controlled #Gaza,” the photo above was captioned. “Some of the rockets that have been hurled into this city are now piled on racks at the local police station, providing a glimpse into the threat that families here face in their daily lives. #terror #missiles.”
According to Gawker, Josh Duggar started his first Ashley Madison account in February, 2013, when he was living in the Arkansas home where Jessa Duggar now resides. He spent around $1,000 on the cheating website, and he continued paying for a subscription until May, 2015. According to USA Today, this is the month the news about his sexual molestation scandal broke.
Josh responded to the shocking story by admitting to molesting four of his younger sisters and another girl when he was a teenager. Jessa Duggar and Jill Duggar revealed that they were two of his victims, and Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar, responded to the scandal in a Facebook statement. She called Josh “a man who knows how to be a gentleman and treat a girl right,” and she claimed that she knew that Josh had sexually molested his sisters when she agreed to marry him.
“And when you, our sweet fans, first met me when Josh asked me to marry him… I was able to say, ‘Yes’ knowing who Josh really is – someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended. Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right.”
Josh Duggar started his second Ashley Madison account in July, 2014. It was linked to the address of the Oxon Hill, Maryland, home that he and Anna moved into after he landed a job with the Family Research Council (FRC), a political lobbying group that has actively campaigned against gay rights. According to the New York Daily News, GLAAD issued a response to Josh’s decision to work for the organization.
“Josh’s new boss, Tony Perkins, has actually accused LGBT equality advocates of being pawns of the devil. Fans of his family’s reality show ought to know that.”
Josh Duggar resigned from the FRC shortly after his sexual molestation scandal story broke, and the Ashley Madison scandal story surfaced a few months later. Josh responded to this second scandal by admitting to cheating on his wife and claiming that he was addicted to internet pornography. He managed to get away from the media spotlight by checking himself into a faith-based recovery center called Reformers Unanimous, and he’s expected to come home sometime this month.
During TLC’s Jill & Jessa: Counting On special, Anna Duggar revealed that she would not be divorcing Josh and that she’s relying on God to fix her marriage. Late last month, Anna shared a short message on the Duggar Family Blog revealing that she had been to Reformers to visit Josh.
“Just recently I visited Josh. It was an important step on a long difficult road,” Anna Duggar wrote.
Josh Duggar’s wife is seemingly ready for him to come home, but, judging from the way the rest of the world views Josh, he might want to invest in a real-life version of one of those Ashley Madison masks to wear whenever he’s finally forced to come out of hiding.
[Image via Josh Duggar/Instagram]