Last week it started. Internet Explorer users are a bunch of dummies. Didn’t matter where you turned someone in the tech blogosphere and mainstream wrote about the so-called report.
There’s only one problem with it – it wasn’t real.
When the story first broke there was a flurry of posts regarding it but like Dustin at MSTechPages something about it didn’t feel right with me so I decided to not write anything unlike notable sites like BBC, Mashable, CNN, Business Insider.
To BBC’s credit though they dug into the story and found out that the Canadian company, ApTiquant, had only set up their site a month ago.
ApTiquant issued a press release claiming that it had invited 100,000 web users to take IQ tests and matched their results with the type of browser they used.
It also supplied extensive research data.
The results claimed to show that Internet Explorer users were generally of lower intelligence.
The BBC sought alternative views for the original story, including Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University’s Statistical Laboratory, who said: “I believe these figures are implausibly low – and an insult to IE users.”
No-one on ApTiquant’s contact number was available for comment.
Graham Cluley, senior security consultant at Sophos, examined the source material for the BBC after concerns were raised.
“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,” he said.
Mr Cluley also looked at the pdf file containing the data that many people had downloaded from a variety of sources and said it did not appear to contain malware.
At least Ed Bott nailed it right with his message on Twitter when the story first broke.
Now I wonder how many of those big name blogs will man up and admit they screwed up.