I'd like to further complicate this analysis by historicizing the phenomenon of public shaming in popular press. Hacktivism, after all, is not at all a recent phenomenon. Sure, in the technical sense of the definition, the history of hacktivism is in its infancy. But the idea behind the AshleyMadison.com hack goes back to at least to the 1870s.
Historians have generally seen the Beecher-Tilton scandal as one of the first instances of public exposure of religious hypocrisy, the kind that is too familiar to the 21st century reader. While partially correct, these interpretations nonetheless tend to underestimate one crucially important motivation behind Woodhull's reporting on the Beecher scandal.
Once Woodhull heard about Beecher's secret affair, she would later explain, she could simply not keep silent. To keep the affair secret, Woodhull believed, would be immoral. If true social reform were to take place, she later wrote, "reputations had to suffer." Comparing her exposé of Beecher's secret to the kinds of tactics used by abolitionists to publicize the horrors of slavery in order to change public opinion, Woodhull insisted that the ends justified the means. "A new public opinion had to be created," she wrote, "and [...] people had to be shocked," and "individual personal feelings had to be hurt."
So, you see, the Beecher scandal was not set in motion in order to suppress the pastor's sexuality; it was, instead, intended as a mechanism to change public opinion about love and relationships. The hackers of AshleyMadison.com want the site to seize all operations. They may be successful. But the truth is that marital infidelity in not going to be cured. New social media platforms will enable other ways of discrete cheating.
Perhaps we can take a lesson from history, and instead of merely shaming those people of whose secret lives we disapprove, we can take this moment to bring the issues at hand--of marriage, infidelity, monogamy, honestly, and trust--into the public square and away from the loneliness of our computer screens.