Internet Explorer users aren’t dumb, study was a hoax

By Tom Warren, on 3rd Aug 11 1:25 pm with 32 Comments

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 :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Michiel.Papp Michiel Papp

    These kind of studies are a waste anyways. I wouldn’t be suprised if more of these so called “studies” are hoaxes. The ones on aspartam in coke light or the “wireless rots your brain one”

  • Anonymous

    Hahaha.  What a bunch of IE hating sheep.  I must have seen various articles posted about this on FB by about 200 friends.  They all thought they were “King Sh*t” because they used Firefox.  Losers.

    • Anonymous

      IE9 is awesome. fuck the chrome, advertising-company, loving fanboys.

  • Jandler

    Well…mayvbe all those that believed it (aka non-IE user) are dumb?

  • Anonymous

    The sites caring to publish articles which will trigger flame-war and thus, more comments, more activity and generally trying to attract people.

    This behavior is understandable yet unfair/improper.

    I care mostly for the people who took that crap seriously at once. If they aren’t able to distinguish the rectum than inequitable, then we can’t blame any site or blog.

    • Mus Gaid

      Sound like John C Dvorak trolling technique to me

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know who the Mister is. I did a fast research. In other words, like “Computerworld” “Techcrunch” etc.

  • Renzo

    Being dumb is a relative term.

    If you don’t understand that, guess what?

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    Oh, good. So I don’t have to move to Firefox 5 after all. Phew.

    • phil jay

      who still uses firefox?!

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      All of my family :-(. They think IE9 “isn’t secure”.
      Subject: [winrumors] Re: Internet Explorer users aren’t dumb, study was a hoax

    • Joe Murray

      There was an article I read a couple of weeks ago that clearly showed IE9 was way ahead of the competition as far as security goes. 

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      I’ll tell them that!! :-D

    • Guest

      At the risk of insulting your family, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      I agree with you!

    • phil jay

      are they those kind of people that have half their screen filled up with useless toolbars? It’s a threat for every browser but I have the feeling FF addons have a tendendency to that…

    • phil jay

      are they those kind of people that have half their screen filled up with useless toolbars? It’s a threat for every browser but I have the feeling FF addons have a tendendency to that…

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      Yep, they are. My Dad thinks he is very good and up to date with technology, but if he’s using Firefox 5… He won’t upgrade to Office 2010 (he sticks with 2007) because of ‘security issues’, and I struggled to get him onto Windows 7 (sigh). Subject: [winrumors] Re: Internet Explorer users aren’t dumb, study was a hoax

    • Anonymous

      Every time I have to fix a PC with a virus they got through the internet and they used IE9… they say its the fault of IE9. Then I open the browser and half the screen is filled with smiley bars and custom search bars….

      Problem found…

    • http://twitter.com/TheeBladeOGrass Michael Pendergraft

      Ha! That’s exactly what I said. Of course I was just starting to enjoy being known as the dumb IE user that nobody bothered when they had a tech problem!

  • Guest

    I’d still be interested in a real study of this.

  • Anonymous

    only low IQ people believed that stupid article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001039271971 Martyn Metalous

    What gets me was how quick the BBC published it as soon as other sites did, normally they move a lot slower.

    But then BBC presenters are very biased against Microsoft.

  • Anonymous

    The way the mainstream media picked up the story without some fact checking just shows how much anti-MS bias there is right now. Really stupid. Kudos to Google and Apple marketing team though. They did a heck of job brainwashing general public.

  • Tkadrum

    Tom, you failed to mention that the team from (AptiQuant )are fake as well, hence if you go to  (The Art of Assessment ) you will see.  There should be a law about using someone else’s photo, switched the names and called themselves such.

    AptiQuant
    http://www.aptiquant.com/about-us/our-team/

    The Art of Assessment
    http://www.centraltest.co.uk/ct_gb/team-central-test.php

    • Guest

      Yeah, this hoax is pretty malicious in a number of ways. Damage to IE, taking the photos of real individuals and then associating those with this stunt, etc.

      Normally I’d say just laugh it off. But I think this one should be pursued further by authorities.

    • Tkadrum

      Yeah, with publicity about AptiQuant , and fear of a lawsuit .   They deleted the team photos as of now. 

    • Tkadrum

      I hope someone did a screen capture of ” Our Team” AptiQuant.

  • Guest

    Seems like a pretty elaborate hoax. If it wasn’t just a troll with too much time on his hands, and it’s too creative for most of those, I’d be interested in who was behind it.

  • Anonymous

    I hope Microsoft sends a few lawyer letters out asking for retractions or they will sue for damages. Especially to the Seattle PI.

    • Tellmeitaintso

      What, you mean Nick Eaton jumped on it and had something critical to say about MS? /sarcasm

  • Anonymous

    seems the dumb ones are the ones that believed it.