A seemingly legitimate study that showed Internet Explorer users as having starkly low IQs has turned out to be an elaborate hoax.
The bogus study was reported on a website from a company called AptiQuant. Now it appears that’s not a real company.
In the “study,” AptiQuant said it offered free online IQ tests to more than 100,000 users, and then collected that data to show scores based on the browser that was used to take the test.
The results showed that Internet Explorer users had shockingly and consistently lower scores than users of any other browser. Users of niche platforms like Camino and Opera were among the highest-scoring.
“This latest report about the intelligence levels of IE users is expected to create a storm,” AptiQuant wrote in its story about the study.
And now it looks like that storm was completely manufactured. After readers became skeptical of the study – which was reported by CNN, Forbes, BBC, and other highly regarded news organizations – it was discovered the AptiQuant site was just established less than a month ago.
On top of that, it was discovered that thumbnail pictures of so-called AptiQuant employees posted on the site were actually stolen from the website of French research comany Central Test.
It’s unknown who was behind the hoax, but given that it was weighted as a story attacking IE rather than praising a particular browser, we’d guess it was probably just an individual anti-Microsoft individual or group.