Hundreds of publications and blogs fell victim to an elaborate Internet hoax last week.
AptiQuant, a “Psychometric Consulting company” from Vancouver, Canada published what it claimed was the results of a study claiming Internet Explorer users have a low IQ. “There was a clear indication from the date that the subjects using any version of Internet Explorer ranked significantly lower on an average than others,” said the report. “No significant difference in the IQ scores of subjects using Chrome, Firefox and Safari was noticed, however these subjects had, on an average, a higher IQ score than the IE users. Individuals using Opera, Camino and IE with Chrome Frame scored a little higher on an average than others.”
The study was revealed as a hoax by the BBC on Wednesday. The publication, which originally reported the story as accurate, researched the organization and found some glaring holes in its data and company:
“Questions about the authenticity of the story were raised by readers of the BBC website who established that the company which put out the research – ApTiquant – appeared to have only set up its website in the past month.
Thumbnail images of the firm’s staff on the website also matched those on the site of French research company Central Test, although many of the names had been changed.
The BBC contacted Central Test who confirmed that they had been made aware of the copy but had no knowledge of ApTiquant or its activities.”
The story was picked up by a number of media outfits, including the BBC, CNN, Mashable and The Register. Internet Explorer users aren’t as dumb as we thought