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Study Stating IE Users Had Low IQs Revealed as a Hoax

For the technology giants (especially Microsoft and Google), the “browser loyalty” war is one of the more important. IE has long been the Goliath in the field, but Chrome is started to move in on its territory. For that reason, a report released by AntiQuant last month seemed to be a great nod to Chrome and its users: It claimed that users of Chrome, Opera, and Firefox had a substantially higher average IQ than users of Internet Explorer (especially version 6 and 8). The report took off, and was re-posted on a number of major news sites, including BBC. It’s just too bad the entire study was a hoax.

The Fake Study

The study released by AptiQuant was easy to confuse with a real report: It included a full-length PDF report with charts, methodological reporting, and more. Here’s the main graph from the report itself:

average iq 300x182 Study Stating IE Users Had Low IQs Revealed as a Hoax

According to the report, IE version 6 and version 8 users had the lowest IQ. The highest IQs belong to Opera, Camino, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox users. The study also examines the user-base by IQ percentile and how the current IQs of browser users compare to the IQs from 2006.

The study’s initial conclusions were stated professionally: “From the test results, it is a clear indication that individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers.” However, the second paragraph of the conclusions got to the author’s real point and gave the first inkling that this study was a few steps away from legitimate.

The Hoax Discovered

The final paragraph of the study reads as follows:

It is common knowledge, that Internet Explorer Versions to 6.0 to 8.0 are highly incompatible with modern web standards. In order to make websites work properly on these browsers, web developers have to spend a lot of unnecessary effort. This results in an extra financial strain on web projects, and has over the last decade cost millions of man-hours to IT companies. Now that we have a statistical pattern on the continuous usage of incompatible browsers, better steps can be taken to eradicate this nuisance.

The difficulties with IE 6.0 and 8.0 were the reasons this fake study was created. The author, Tarandeep Gill, made the study after struggling to add new features to his eCommerce website. He had to spend a lot of extra time working with the “nuisance” of IE 6.0 and 8.0 incompatibilities. But it wasn’t Gill who revealed the study as a hoax. Rather, an interested reader researched the site and found it had only launched in mid-July.

Gill then confirmed that the site and study were both a hoax, and every page is now labeled clearly as such. Gill has also created additional posts explaining why he made the posts and going into how the fake study spread. While he thinks it funny how seriously people took his hoax, he also feels is served its purpose: “to create awareness about the incompatibilities of IE6 and how it is pulling back innovation.”

[Sources include: AntiQuant & Scientific American]

 Study Stating IE Users Had Low IQs Revealed as a Hoax
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in 2002. His work as an SEO consultant since 2006, and subsequently to content writing for technology and internet-focused publications, has done nothing but fuel this passion.
 Study Stating IE Users Had Low IQs Revealed as a Hoax

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3 thoughts on “Study Stating IE Users Had Low IQs Revealed as a Hoax

  1. Couldn’t agree more with the fundamental point driving the hoax, as A developer I spend an extra 30% of time on every project fixing bugs on IE 6, 7 and 8.

  2. This man just want us to abandon IE6. But how can we do that. Not the IE6 is very very good, Just because even you drop IE6 in our home but you still need to keep using it in our work. Some projects only works under IE6. Maybe use the browsers based on IE just like maxthon and Avant browser or the 360 browser may be a solution. but even these browsers now support IE8 and IE9.
    So, come on boy, This just a stupid behavior
     

  3. OK, so you say that he says it was a hoax and I’m supposed to take your word for it?
    His reasons for generating the report don’t invalidate the statistics.
    Perhaps you’re just one of those IE6 users.