Nearly a week ago, a study was published that claimed all Internet Explorer users had a low IQ. The study supposedly showcased a statistical pattern on the continuous usage of old browsers. Well, now a new report by the BBC suggests that this story was a hoax.
The study had concluded that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browsers had the lowest intelligence quotient (IQ) scores. The average IQ score for those using Internet Explorer was found to be 80. According to the study, five years ago, this IQ was 100. IE7, IE8, and IE9 were slightly higher but did not exceed a 100 IQ. Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, however, exceeded 100. Both Opera and Mac-only Camino came out on top with over 120 IQ points. Apparently, an IQ range of 70 and 85 is classified as “borderline intellectual functioning.”
Numerous media sites reported on this story believing its credibility. Now, the BBC has published a story of their own claiming that this so-called research from Aptiquant was a hoax. “It later emerged that the company’s website was only recently set up and staff images were copied from a legitimate business in Paris,” BBC stated on their website.
BBC decided to look into this so-called study and track down the researchers. No one at Aptiquant would respond back to calls or emails listed on the corproate website and it also appeared to be a bogus website with copied staff images.
“It’s obviously very easy to create a bogus site like this – as all phishers know it’s easy to rip-off someone else’s webpages and pictures,” said Graham Cluley, Security Consultant at Sophos. The PDF file that contained the research was examined and determined to not have any malware.
BBC did their best in investigating this research claim and apparently the statistics that were presented in the study contain figures that are “implausibly low and an insult to IE users.” No word on the real reason this study was published, but one can assume it was to overestimate the use of old browsers.
Well there you have it. You can stop uninstalling IE now.
Thanks to Andrew for the news tip!