A story about a Canadian research firm that supposedly performed online IQ tests and concluded that Internet Explorer users had lower IQs than those using other browsers has been revealed as a hoax.
The story was reported by GlobalPost, along with such high-profile tech and news sites as Business Insider, CNN, Mashable, Forbes and the Seattle PI.
According to the story, research by bogus Canadian firm AptiQuant showed that Chrome, Firefox and Safari advocates had a higher level of intelligence than those for whom the Microsoft browser was the program of choice. It said it based its findings on a survey of 100,000 internet users.
Questions about the authenticity of the story were raised after it was established that ApTiquant appeared to have only set up its website in the past month.
Thumbnail images of the firm’s staff on the website also matched those on the site of French research company Central Test, although many of the names had been changed, the BBC reports.
The BBC contacted Central Test who confirmed that they had been made aware of the copy but had no knowledge of ApTiquant or its activities.
The BBC was unable to reach representatives of the so-called research firm; third-party experts reportedly agreed the data was suspicious.
It is unclear who was behind the stunt.