Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

Summary:"Internet Explorer users are kind of stupid", said the story a few days ago. Turns out the story was just an elaborate hoax.

Breathe a sigh of relief. Internet Explorer users are not "kind of stupid", according to articles thrown around by the media over the last few days.

The story was an elaborate hoax.

Capturing the eyes of major news organisations, including the BBC News, our sister site CBS News and, well, ZDNet too, the false story spread like wildfire, until it was revealed today that the story was untrue.

Canadian firm ApTiquant 'commissioned' the report, stating that research connecting a users' browser choice is affected by the cognitive ability of the user. By connecting a users' IQ score against their common browser choice, a correlation was made between lower IQ scores and using Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

Stating that it had invited over 100,000 web users to take part in the research, many researchers would have alarm bells ringing. Not only would this is an extraordinarily difficult task to complete, but the data results would be so vast, it could take years to find any meaningful results.

Alarm bells rung when nobody had heard of the company before, sending many on a quest of journalistic intent, to discover whether or not this story was in fact true or not. Many simply ignored the story.

Some people were so incensed by the news, that they threatened legal action against the Canadian based company.

But as the BBC backpedal today, it became clear that the company's website was only set up within the past month and images of staff were duplicated from a legitimate business in Paris.

Not all research is as accurate or as empirical as others. Whether this was merely a marketing stunt, or someone wanting to get a long running myth off their chest in the most public way possible -- it is unclear.

Nobody from ApTiquant was -- understandably -- available for comment.

Related content:

Topics: Browser, Microsoft

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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