The BBC is reporting that a story which claimed that Internet Explorer users have a lower average IQ than users of other browsers is a hoax.
It has since emerged, however, that AptiQuant’s website had only recently been set up and that the images of its staff were copied from the site of French research company, Central Test.
The BBC reports that Central Test had been made aware that copies of the images had been made, but were unaware of the existence of any company called AptiQuant.
Tech blog CBR is reporting that Central Research have released a statement denying any tie between itself and AptiQuant.
The AptiQuant report, which the news companies based their stories on, uses unusual language for an official press release, referring to the results as “really not that surprising”.
It later states that:
“Chrome, Firefox and Safari users had just a teeny bit higher than average IQ scores. And users of Camino, Opera and IE with Chrome Frame had exceptionally higher IQ levels.”
While other news bodies were fairly measured in the way they reported the story, The Register was particularly vitriolic.
It ran the article under the headline: “It’s official: IE users are dumb as a bag of hammers”.
A number of outlets also reported that Internet Explorer users are supposed to have reacted defensively to the initial story, threatening to take legal action against AptiQuant.
It is now apparent that the culprit behind the elaborate hoax is part of the team at internet-deals site atcheap. The site’s builder has also released list of “tell-tale” signs which should have immediately tipped the media off.