I think the real blame lies y'know, with the people who actually used this as a vehicle to cheat on their spouses. Blaming this leak for the fallout is like blaming your spouse's friend who rats you out for cheating on them.
This statement is like saying "Yeah, I know revenge porn is bad, but the real blame lies y'know, with the girl who sent nude pictures in the first place. It was only a matter of time before someone re-published it"
Three things need to be remembered before you support this hack because the cheaters deserved it:
1. Ashley Madison was its self a scam. People who used the site were already being punished. Shutting down the site is actually GOOD for cheaters, because they will now know to turn to a more legitimate dating site in future.
2. Just because someone signed up to the site doesn't mean they were actually going to cheat on their spouse. It's like a list of people who've ever walked into a brothel. When push comes to shove, many people think better of their bad decisions on their own - not everybody who walks into a brothel ends up sleeping with a hooker.
2. Collateral damage - It's not just the individual listed in the leak who suffers.
2a) Plenty of public figures (doctors, lawyers, teachers, politicians) are women. They will now have to deal with their reputation that they're married to a "cheater", because public opinion doesn't understand point 1. (Imagine how a high school teacher is going to feel when some kid puts his hand up in class and says "Is your husband xxxxx? I just found his details on the Ashley Madison data dump. Do you let him spank you?")
2b) When parents divorce, their children go through hell. If cheating can dealt with privately, forgiven by the victim and the cheater changes his ways, that's a better outcome for the whole family than the alternative. Thanks to this hack, there is no longer an option for victims of cheating to deal with their husband's bad behaviour privately. This increases the chances of a worse outcome for the children.
Now, before you mod me down for my opening statement, I do understand there is a MASSIVE difference between revenge porn and this hack; but both have come about because of a breach of trust from the counterparty.
I do think it's reasonable to compare the feelings experienced by the people listed in this data dump with those experienced by women who find themselves on a revenge porn site. That is online bullying plain and simple. It is easy, and emotionally satisfying to blame the people who signed up and were silly enough to use their real name, but it is extremely unhelpful, and the whole "two wrongs might make a right" argument doesn't hold much water when you counter in the fact that Ashley Madison was ALREADY taking cheaters for everything they were worth.
However, it is an important lesson that needs to be re-iterated to Internet users daily: Information wants to be free. Access controls are temporary, content is permanent. Once you have posted something online (or sent something via MMS) you have no control over what happens to it. It cannot be deleted, It cannot be revoked, One of two things happens to online information: It will either rot into obscurity, or become public. You have no privacy online. That horse has bolted.
The responsibility rests with you: Accept the reality that privacy online is nothing more than an illusion and protect yourself by treating everything you post, publish or send as PUBLIC.