Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

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.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Browser, Microsoft
19

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

19 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • And the person behind this is...

    Someone named "Tarandeep Singh Gill" is behind the site, according to old whois records, as well as whois records for "AtCost.com", which is linked to in the footer of Aptiquant.com (as well as resides 1 IP address down from Aptiquant.com).
    jgleib
  • Message has been deleted.

    ghormax
    • Message has been deleted.

      owlnet
    • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

      @ghormax
      Haha yeah, you're like the kid that feels better by bashing others. Did your self esteem get kicked up a notch there buddy?
      OhTheHumanity
  • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

    This is an eye-opener for all those tech and blog sites who publishes rubbish content without proper review.

    Microsoft should sue these sites for damages or seek anpublic apology for these pathatic and incompetant journalism.
    owlnet
    • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

      @owlnet

      yeah, "alarm bells rung" but zdnet apparently decided to publish it anyway. good job guys.
      wendellgee2
      • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

        @wendellgee@...
        It was really just Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. Personally I think he wrote some of the worse researched articles on ZDnet and rarely responses to criticism in talkback.

        He should probably stick with testing hardware since he lack of any kind analytical skill on softwares and news. (i.e. keep using HTML5test.com for browsers)
        Samic
  • And everyone jumped on it... Why?

    Answer: Because it's "cool" to hate anything Microsoft. Damn stupid reason to make a technical decision if you ask me.
    ddmattison
  • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

    Well I read an article after this was proven to be fake, that said 87% of users who read the fake story using IE believed it to be a real story... Just saying.
    Bates_
  • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

    Story MAY be a hoax....

    Even if it is, anyone that just uses the browser that comes with the OS without exploring better alternatives like Opera or Chrome are frankly morons.

    In short, the report may or may not be hoaxed, but the data behind it does indeed follow life.

    IE users are sheep.
    Mark Str
    • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

      @Mark Str So what does that make Mac users using Safari?
      Aerowind
      • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

        @Aerowind,

        Lemmings?
        spdragoo@...
    • Yes

      Because people couldn't possibly use IE because they see the alternatives and go back, they have to be ignorant people who don't know better.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

      @Mark Str What is a chromebook user to do?<br><br>What about phone based browsers? Are users that do not test out every one stupid as well?<br><br>My goodness we are running out of smart people! National crisis!<br><br>More Free education loans are needed!
      QAonCall
  • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

    So the media decided to report first, then investigate if it was true or not. That explains a lot of what's happening in the world today.
    Skippy99
  • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

    ?Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.? ? Rich Cook
    ousoonerjoe
    • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

      @ousoonerjoe

      Agreed.
      Good one. :D
      lehnerus2000
  • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

    Alarm bells did not "rung" - they RANG.

    As in "Honey, I SHRANK the kids".
    rod.burt@...
  • RE: Internet Explorer users 'stupid': Story was a hoax

    It warn't either a hoxe!!
    (dedicated Opera user)
    nikacat