Adult FriendFinder

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Adult FriendFinder
Type of site
Online dating service
Available in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Tagalog, Italian
Alexa rank Negative increase 1751 (December 2016)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Yes
Current status Active

Adult FriendFinder (AFF) is an internet-based, adult-oriented social network, online dating service and swinger personals community website, founded by Andrew Conru in 1996.

In 2007 AFF was one of the 100 most popular sites in the United States[citation needed]; its competitors include sites such as Match.com.[2]

History[edit]

In 1994, Andrew Conru created the first online dating site,[citation needed] WebPersonals. After selling that site in 1995, he launched FriendFinder.com, an early social networking site, in 1996.[3] Days after the site went live, Conru found that people were posting naked pictures of themselves and seeking partners for adult-oriented activities. As a result, Conru started Adult FriendFinder, which he described as "a release valve". FriendFinder has since established other niche dating sites, including Senior FriendFinder, Amigos.com, BigChurch.com, and Alt.com.[4]

The parent company (Various, Inc.) had difficulty finding venture capital due to the adult nature of its business.[5] In December 2007, the company was sold to the Penthouse Media Group for $500 million.[6][7] Penthouse later changed its name to FriendFinder Networks.[8] In October 2009, as part of an arrangement with The Kluger Agency, musician Flo Rida released a music video for his song "Touch Me" via Adult FriendFinder. A representative of the agency stated that it was "always great to combine a very sexy high octane record with a very sexy brand.[9]

On September 17, 2013, parent company FriendFinder Networks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[10][11] In December 2013, FriendFinder Networks emerged from bankruptcy protection with reorganization in effect.[12] Founder Andrew Conru gained control of the company and serves as CEO.[13]

Overview[edit]

Accessing certain features, such as e-mail, private chat rooms, webcams, blogging, and a webzine, requires paid membership. Adult FriendFinder has an affiliate program, whereby webmasters are compensated for referring users to the site.[14]

Criticism[edit]

Adult FriendFinder has been accused of committing systematic billing fraud.[15] According to the complaints filed, the company has a practice of continuing to bill customers even after they have cancelled their service. Former employees of the company have claimed that this is their standard policy and not the result of errors. These employees have stated that the majority of customers do not notice the charges for many months.[16][better source needed] As of October 2014, hundreds of civil cases have been filed against the company and a criminal indictment was made by the Federal Trade Commission against the company.[17] In 2007, Adult FriendFinder settled with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that the company had used malware to generate explicit pop-up ads for the service on computers without user consent.[18]

Adult FriendFinder's acquisition by Penthouse was the subject of a 2007 lawsuit by Broadstream Capital Partners, a merchant bank that assists with mergers, alleging Penthouse breached a 2006 contract by purchasing the company without obtaining Broadstream's consent, a claim Penthouse denies.[19] The suit was settled for $15 million in 2011.[20]

Security breaches[edit]

In May 2015, Adult FriendFinder was hacked by users associated with the Hell forums,[21] with the hackers stealing personal information about as many as four million of the site's users.[22][23]

On November 13, 2016, it was reported that a database of usernames, e-mails, and passwords had been breached and leaked from Adult FriendFinder and other FriendFinder Networks websites. The breach included 300 million Adult FriendFinder user accounts, including account data for 15 million accounts that had supposedly been "deleted". The passwords had not been encrypted at all, or encrypted with the obsolete and insecure SHA-1.[24]

Awards[edit]

The site won the 2010 XBIZ Award for "Dating Program of the Year".[25] It was also voted Best Adult Dating Site of 2012 from About.com.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Adultfriendfinder.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016-12-07. 
  2. ^ Stein, Joel (March 30, 2007). "The Accidental 'Friend' Finder". Money.CNN.com. CNN. 
  3. ^ "The Accidental 'Friend' Finder - Online Personals Watch: News on the Dating Industry and Business". Online Personals Watch. 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  4. ^ Stein, Joel (2007-03-30). "Social networking's dirty side". CNN Money. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  5. ^ Matt Richtel (July 27, 2007). "A Thaw in Investment Prospects for Sex-Related Businesses? Maybe". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  6. ^ Hopkins, Jim (Dec 13, 2007). "Penthouse' makes $500M hookup with social site Various". USA Today. 
  7. ^ Duncan Riley (2007-12-11). "Confirmed: Penthouse Buys AdultFriendFinder For $500 Million". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  8. ^ Pfeifer, Stuart (2013-09-17). "Penthouse publisher FriendFinder files for bankruptcy protection". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  9. ^ LaVallee, Andrew (2009-10-26). "Flo Rida Video Premieres on AdultFriendFinder". The Wall Street Journal. 
  10. ^ Valinsky, Jordan. "AdultFriendFinder Totally F*cked". Betabeat. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  11. ^ Beaudette, Marie (September 17, 2013). "Penthouse Publisher FriendFinder Files for Bankruptcy Protection". The Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^ Bathon, Michael (2013-12-16). "FriendFinder Alters Reorganization Plan to Win Court OK". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  13. ^ Andrew B. Conru Ph.D. "Andrew Conru: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek". Investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  14. ^ Stein, Joel (2007-03-30). "Social networking's dirty side - April 1, 2007". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  15. ^ "Consumer Complaints & Reviews". Consumer Affairs. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Various Inc (alt, adultfriendfinder, houstonpress, fastcupid, etc!) BIGGEST SCAM ARTISTS YET". Dumbfcks. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "Adult-Oriented Online Social Networking Operation Settles FTC Charges". Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  18. ^ McMillan, Robert (June 6, 2007). "AdultFriendFinder Settles Adware Charges". PC World. 
  19. ^ Hymes, Tom (2008-08-31). "Penthouse Denies Every Claim in Broadstream Adult FriendFinder Suit". Xbiz.com. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  20. ^ "UPDATE 1-Penthouse publisher settles 2007 lawsuit with Broadstream Capital". Reuters. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  21. ^ Stone, Jeff (6 August 2015). "Dark Net Hacking Forum 'Hell' Returns Months After Adult Friend Finder Breach". Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  22. ^ Snider, Mike (21 May 2015). "Large online dating site AdultFriendFinder confirms data breach". USA Today. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "Security Updates FAQ". Friend Finder Networks. 
  24. ^ "Over 300 million AdultFriendFinder accounts have been exposed in a massive breach". The Verge. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 
  25. ^ "XBIZ Award Winners". XBIZ. February 2011. 
  26. ^ "Best Adult Dating Site of 2012". Dating.about.com. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-06-25.