How Smart Appliances Might Get You Busted for Cheating

#WashingMachineGate, smart appliances and smarter spouses.

Taru Anniina Liikanen
3 min readFeb 11


Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

This week has been a feast for Argentinian news channels and tabloids.

A cheating scandal that’s so juicy it’s been the number one trending topic on Twitter several days in a row.

Now, celebrities cheating is pretty common, at least in Argentina, but this case had something entirely new to offer.

What caught the cheater was a smart washing machine.

Yep, betcha didn’t think that could happen.

Argentinian Nepo Baby

The antihero of this story is the kid of two famous actors turned actor himself, a true Argentinian nepo baby named Federico Bal, or Fede.

I’m not super aware of Argentinian celebrity gossip, but I had heard his name before, a couple of years ago as he was battling colon cancer in his early thirties.

Poor guy, I thought. It’s a rough disease that’s becoming more and more common among relatively young people, and it’s really aggressive.

But Fede was one of the lucky ones. After chemo, he was able to get back to his normal life and full-time job as a public personality. And actor too, sure, but he’s always been more famous for his scandals than his work.

This summer, he was working as the lead of Kinky Boots in a touristic town called Villa Carlos Paz in Córdoba, about a seven hours’ drive from Buenos Aires.

This town, like Argentina’s beaches, hosts lots of famous people in the summer as headliners of the tourist spectacles. And famous people love hanging out and partying with other famous people. And maybe cheating with other famous people, too.

In January, Fede had already been in the news for the noisy parties he holds in the house he’s spending the summer in, but he’s still enjoying the good graces of the public.

But his washing machine was keeping some secrets, hidden in plain sight.

Beware of That App

Federico would apparently cheat on his girlfriend with numerous women but, as a somewhat smart man — or at least…



Taru Anniina Liikanen

Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Recovering political ghostwriter and comedian. Bad jokes my own.