Internet Explorer IQ story was a hoax

By on August 3, 2011, 2:30 PM

Late last week several news outlets ran a story claiming that Internet Explorer users had a lower IQ than other browser users. The study was supposedly carried out online by Canadian AptiQuant Psychometirc Consulting Co. and the “results” indicated that users of Internet Explorer scored significantly lower than those using competing web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

AptiQuant even followed the story up by claiming they were threatened with a lawsuit by “loyal Internet Explorer users”.

The BBC was one of the original reporting outlets but they soon became suspicious after their readers discovered the website had only recently been launched.

It has since been announced that everything surrounding the story was a complete hoax. In retrospect, there were many signs questioning the legitimacy of the study and website but media didn’t put the pieces together quickly enough.

Since the hoax was revealed, much of the content on the AptiQuant website has been removed. Furthermore, those responsible for the hoax have posted a list of signs that “should have uncovered the hoax in less than 5 minutes”.

At the top of this list is the fact that the domain was registered on July 14, 2011. This could have been revealed by a quick WhoIs domain registration search. Other warning signs include the fact that the given address for the business does not exist and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (IV) test is copyrighted and cannot be administered online.

“Again, this was all meant to be a lighthearted joke. We did not mean to insult anyone, but if we have hurt anybody’s feelings, we apologize for that. But what’s really funny is that everybody took the report so seriously, with comments like “Oh did we need such a study, we already knew that.”

In the end, we are once again sorry if I this report hurt your feelings. The main purpose behind this hoax was to create awareness about the incompatibilities of IE6 and how it is pulling back innovation. So, if you are still using IE6, please update to a newer browser.“




User Comments: 43

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red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Well this is a surprise indeed.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

As I pointed out in the original thread: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic168582.html the whole thing smacked of being a phishing scam. I mean really, how vain to you have to be to download some strange PDF to validate your opinion of your own intelligence.

Guest said:

What manner of gibberish is that? lol. shame on you Ms(r) Cranky.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

What manner of gibberish is that? lol. shame on you Ms(r) Cranky.
Downloaded that garbage, did we....?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Downloaded that garbage, did we....?

ups-a-daisy

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

People still shouldn't be using IE though, sorry but the web developer in me despises every version of IE, it is not only the browser with less support for modern standards it is also the only major browser that runs only on one single platform.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Does this mean that the Acai Berry Diet, Free Green Card site, and RussianGirlsWhoOnlyNeedMyCreditCardForAuthentificationPurpos
s.ru might also be less than legitimate?

Guest said:

red1776 did...lol.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Does this mean that the Acai Berry Diet, Free Green Card site, and RussianGirlsWhoOnlyNeedMyCreditCardForAuthentificationPurpos
s.ru might also be less than legitimate?
No, not at all. Given the, "innocent until proven guilty", principles of modern jurisprudence, you can't even suggest they they might be less than upstanding(*), until they've emptied your bank account, and you've cried about it for the cameras of you local 6:00 news.

"I thought I was getting my dream of a life partner, now I'm forced back to my blow up doll for companionship"! He said as he slobbered all over the nice newsman's microphone.

(And in case you were wondering, the "upstanding" wording, was a thinly veiled reference to the victim being the erection that he had so desperately desired to inflict on the nice Russian girl).

howzz1854 said:

this is exactly why journalists should verify their story before publishing it. case and point, WMD.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

this is exactly why journalists should verify their story before publishing it. case and point, WMD.
Not really a good example. To verify the presence of WMD in Iraq before any publication of those claims, the press would have had to declare war on Iraq, then go in and search for said weapons themselves.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I would hardly call a platform comprising 90% of all desktop PC's, numbering in the hundreds of millions, a problem.

Besides, from their stagnation earlier this century, MS has rather quickly come to IE 9, which is a pretty good browser. If a person stopped using IE a few years ago, and hasn't checked out the new version, they might still be under the impression that its horrible and crappy. I don't use it that often, but when I do use it, or play with a new version, I find it to be very fast, responsive, and stable.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I would hardly call a platform comprising 90% of all desktop PC's, numbering in the hundreds of millions, a problem.

Besides, from their stagnation earlier this century, MS has rather quickly come to IE 9, which is a pretty good browser. If a person stopped using IE a few years ago, and hasn't checked out the new version, they might still be under the impression that its horrible and crappy. I don't use it that often, but when I do use it, or play with a new version, I find it to be very fast, responsive, and stable.

Given that most of my posts are a "bit afield" of the topic, and having admitted that I have no room to talk, is this posted in the correct thread? If so, how so? Perspiring minds want to know... :o

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They caught a few people out on here, that's for sure

Guest said:

Windows users may have a lower IQ.

Chazz said:

captaincranky said:

Given that most of my posts are a "bit afield" of the topic, and having admitted that I have no room to talk, is this posted in the correct thread? If so, how so? Perspiring minds want to know... :o

I'm almost positive he was saying that in response to Mario's comment.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

captaincranky said:

I would hardly call a platform comprising 90% of all desktop PC's, numbering in the hundreds of millions, a problem.

Besides, from their stagnation earlier this century, MS has rather quickly come to IE 9, which is a pretty good browser. If a person stopped using IE a few years ago, and hasn't checked out the new version, they might still be under the impression that its horrible and crappy. I don't use it that often, but when I do use it, or play with a new version, I find it to be very fast, responsive, and stable.

Given that most of my posts are a "bit afield" of the topic, and having admitted that I have no room to talk, is this posted in the correct thread? If so, how so? Perspiring minds want to know... :o

I was talking about IE9, but I suppose that fast, responsive and stable would be good qualities in any potential East Slavic bride as well.

I would add feisty for the bride, but perhaps not the browser. Like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiO2b1cQr0U

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

captaincranky said:

As I pointed out in the original thread: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic168582.html the whole thing smacked of being a phishing scam. I mean really, how vain to you have to be to download some strange PDF to validate your opinion of your own intelligence.

I feel really stupid now. Even though it actually wasn't any kind of a strange PDF-file, being ballsy resulted in falling for the hoax completely :o

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Windows users may have a lower IQ.
I don't think you can say that, without implying that Mac OS users are smarter....

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

...unless it's the linux users who are smarter.

...then it comes down to retardation race between people that keep Steve Bullmer in a job, or keep a Jobs in a j....pulpit.

howzz1854 said:

captaincranky said:

this is exactly why journalists should verify their story before publishing it. case and point, WMD.
Not really a good example. To verify the presence of WMD in Iraq before any publication of those claims, the press would have had to declare war on Iraq, then go in and search for said weapons themselves.

dude serious?

that's is NOT the only option to finding out WMD. that's propaganda talk, also known as cool aid. if declaring war on nations is the only option for you to find out other's secrets, the world would be bursting in flame and no one would be alive by now. there're ways to verify a report. you just gotta do a better job verifying the "source". if you can't. don't publish the story.

Emin3nce said:

I still thing people using IE are retarded.

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

captaincranky said:

As I pointed out in the original thread: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic168582.html the whole thing smacked of being a phishing scam. I mean really, how vain to you have to be to download some strange PDF to validate your opinion of your own intelligence.

I knew it. I myself don't use IE but still, computer savvy people shpuld have known that this was a scam.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

dude serious?

that's is NOT the only option to finding out WMD. that's propaganda talk, also known as cool aid. if declaring war on nations is the only option for you to find out other's secrets, the world would be bursting in flame and no one would be alive by now. there're ways to verify a report. you just gotta do a better job verifying the "source". if you can't. don't publish the story.

Yeah dude serious.

And if only for the fact, that finding out the truth would ultimately have taken longer than Messrs. Bush & Cheyney's, very "successful", "rush to judgment".

There were 2 fully involved propaganda machines between the press and the fact or fantasy of WMD in Iraq, ours and theirs. The press, is to one degree or another, dependent on our government for "the truth", and must take much of what comes out of the White House on faith.

Iraq was a closed society at that time, and had a "White Palace" press secretary to disseminate their version of the "truth" also. (I think he was killed, at the very least captured).

So, if any investigative reporter had a general, more advanced knowledge of the truth about WMD in Iraq, and wasn't listened to, that is a tragic oversight in history.

My suggestion to you would be the time honored, "if you want anything done right, do it yourself", instead of talking smack here at TS.

I look forward to any revelations that "howzz-ileaks" could, in the near future, provide for our general betterment and enlightenment, promoting world peace, and perhaps even upholding the ideals of the Miss America Pageant.

dude serious? , the world would be bursting in flame and no one would be alive by now.
I pulled this out to deal with it separately. This is hyperbole. We possess the ability to almost knock the earth out of orbit, hasn't happened. The world is constantly in flames, simply not all once. We just change the location of the fire periodically, out of convenience, necessity, and situational exigences.

Guest said:

"Not really a good example. To verify the presence of WMD in Iraq before any publication of those claims, the press would have had to declare war on Iraq, then go in and search for said weapons themselves."

Or just point out that an undated image with the resolution of an etch-a-sketch thrown around by the Bush administration is not good enough to invade another country?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"
Not really a good example. To verify the presence of WMD in Iraq before any publication of those claims, the press would have had to declare war on Iraq, then go in and search for said weapons themselves."

Or just point out that an undated image with the resolution of an etch-a-sketch thrown around by the Bush administration is not good enough to invade another country?

So then the press is ultimately responsible for the second Iraq war, by virtue of its own incompetence or complacency? Who is "Commander and Chief" of the armed forces nowadays, the editor of the New York Times?

pcnthuziast said:

I guess an IQ of 147 is low these days. :p

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I guess an IQ of 147 is low these days. :p
Well, that is prodigious, but irrelevant, since the story was a hoax. And you get to keep that number, irrespective of which browser you choose.

You could of course, out of pride or purpose, start a poll about individual member's IQ. Of course you'd never really be sure if they were bull s***ing you or not.

Guest said:

Just because there is no documented evidence doesn't mean it isn't true.

Microsoft's IE (until 9) is and has been such an utter nuisance to web devs that if MS had a passable IQ they would have upgraded it or required everyone to ditch it many moons ago.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Just because there is no documented evidence doesn't mean it isn't true.

Microsoft's IE (until 9) is and has been such an utter nuisance to web devs that if MS had a passable IQ they would have upgraded it or required everyone to ditch it many moons ago.

I don't know of a standardized IQ test for semi-monopolies, so that would be pretty hard to prove.

Besides the hoax referenced individual users, M$ itself wasn't part of that, it's not an individual, therefore exempt. (Of course "eligible" would only attach if the "survey" was real in the first place).

M$ would love nothing more than to have individuals and corporations alike, abandon every browser they've ever made, besides IE9. You can't pin being a Luddite, on anything but the Luddite itself.

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

I really wonder what my IQ really is?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I really wonder what my IQ really is?
There, there now, don't be sad, and above all, no pouting. It's whatever you want it to be.........YAY...!

howzz1854 said:

captaincranky said:

dude serious?

that's is NOT the only option to finding out WMD. that's propaganda talk, also known as cool aid. if declaring war on nations is the only option for you to find out other's secrets, the world would be bursting in flame and no one would be alive by now. there're ways to verify a report. you just gotta do a better job verifying the "source". if you can't. don't publish the story.

Yeah dude serious.

And if only for the fact, that finding out the truth would ultimately have taken longer than Messrs. Bush & Cheyney's, very "successful", "rush to judgment".

There were 2 fully involved propaganda machines between the press and the fact or fantasy of WMD in Iraq, ours and theirs. The press, is to one degree or another, dependent on our government for "the truth", and must take much of what comes out of the White House on faith.

Iraq was a closed society at that time, and had a "White Palace" press secretary to disseminate their version of the "truth" also. (I think he was killed, at the very least captured).

So, if any investigative reporter had a general, more advanced knowledge of the truth about WMD in Iraq, and wasn't listened to, that is a tragic oversight in history.

My suggestion to you would be the time honored, "if you want anything done right, do it yourself", instead of talking smack here at TS.

I look forward to any revelations that "howzz-ileaks" could, in the near future, provide for our general betterment and enlightenment, promoting world peace, and perhaps even upholding the ideals of the Miss America Pageant.

dude serious? , the world would be bursting in flame and no one would be alive by now.
I pulled this out to deal with it separately. This is hyperbole. We possess the ability to almost knock the earth out of orbit, hasn't happened. The world is constantly in flames, simply not all once. We just change the location of the fire periodically, out of convenience, necessity, and situational exigences.

sounds like you just need to lay off the cool aid.

government or press... one still needs to verify the source. just because the white house said so, it doesn't make it true. you seriously believe everything anyone tells you. Verify the source, publish the story, simple as that. there were countless instances we could've gone to war with the USSR and never did, and yet we were digging each other's dirty laundry.

i don't know where you're going with the whole earth thing... must be all that cool aid you've been drinking.

don't get mad because someone pointed out the fact that it doesn't require a war to find out on certain facts.

any other hill billy insights?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

don't get mad because someone pointed out the fact that it doesn't require a war to find out on certain facts.

I'm not angry at all. I just think you talk a great job, condemn other peoples efforts, and offer none of your own.

As I said, if the press is so pitiful and mislead, then you should step up, and show them how it's done, instead of talking smack.

Since I really didn't resort to name calling or, hill billy incest innuendo to make that case, I'm reporting your post above

Guest said:

People using the fashion accessories, otherwise known as Apple products, have to be the stupidest people of all.

Don't need a survey to know that.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

People using the fashion accessories, otherwise known as Apple products, have to be the stupidest people of all.

Don't need a survey to know that.

Sadly, the survey had absolutely nothing to do with Apple products. Which brings us to the inevitable question, "what on earth are you talking about"?

Don't get me wrong, an Apple hating guest is always more than welcome here at Techspot.

I still thing people using IE are retarded.
And I "thing" so too....

Guest said:

I am sick of hearing about all these browser wars. back, forward, address bar, quick load of pages (don't care about 100ms difference etc.) is all that concerns me. That and that it doesn't crash.

Recently had to stop using chome because the f..ng thing would crash wherever there is flash in a page. I know the latest release rectified this, but I can't be arsed installing it.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I am sick of hearing about all these browser wars. back, forward, address bar, quick load of pages (don't care about 100ms difference etc.) is all that concerns me. That and that it doesn't crash..
You noticed that too, huh?

Recently had to stop using chome because the f..ng thing would crash wherever there is flash in a page. I know the latest release rectified this, but I can't be arsed installing it.
Really, having Google Chrome, entails having Google Update along with it. For me, that's a no brainer, get rid of the baby and the bathwater in one shot, install Firefox and, or Opera and use those.

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

There, there now, don't be sad, and above all, no pouting. It's whatever you want it to be.........YAY...!

YAY!!!!! I want it to be 2,000,000 8D oh yeah!!

Guest said:

Firefox stole InPrivate browsing idea from IE

Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

We don't need a study to show us that IE users have a lower IQ. It's painfully obvious.

HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

This is all true Night Hacker

TJGeezer said:

ha ha ha - Mr. Cranky got it so right the milk came out of my nose

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