Internet Explorer IQ study found to be a hoax [Update]

A so-called study that appeared on the Internet last week that claimed to show that Internet Explorer users had lower IQ scores than users of other web browsers has now been exposed as an elaborate hoax. The study came from a Canadian-based company called AptiQuant which released the study last Friday and was picked up by a number of major media outlets including CNN and the BBC. However the BBC did some checking after the fact and it now reports that the AptiQuant web site copied images from the web site of the staff of the French-based research company Central Test. In addition the AptiQuant site itself was apparently launched less than a month ago. Finally no one from the company has yet to respond to requests for comment from the media.

The study itself, presented in a PDF document, stated that the company conducted web based IQ tests of thousands of users of various versions of Internet Explorer and compared the scores with those of users of other browsers such as Google's Chrome, Apple's Safari, Mozilla's Firefox, Chrome and others. The study claimed to show that IE users did not generate as high of a score in the test as users of the other browsers mentioned in the “study”.

The BBC contacted experts who pretty much slammed the so-called report. One of the experts cited was David Spiegelhalter who works at Cambridge University's Statistical Laboratory. He said, "I believe these figures are implausibly low and an insult to IE users." The people behind the creation of this hoax remain unknown as do their motives.

Update: The AntiQuant web site has now updated admitted to the hoax saying, "The main purpose behind this hoax was to create awareness about the incompatibilities of IE6, and not to insult or hurt anyone."  The author goes into more detail on why he decided to launch such a hoax on the web site.

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