Browser IQ survey branded a hoax

You know that survey about IE users having lower IQs? Well, funny thing… the folks over at the BBC did a little sleuthing, and their findings suggest that AptiQuant, the self-described "Psychometric Consulting company" behind the survey, doesn’t really exist.

First, the Beeb points out that the company’s website was only set up "in the past month." A whois search reveals a creation date of July 14 for the aptiquant.com domain. More incriminating still, AptiQuant’s staff page looks like a carbon copy, with different names, of French research firm Central Test‘s roster. Central Test told the BBC that it knows about the pilfered staff pictures but has "no knowledge of ApTiquant or its activities."

All signs point to an elaborate hoax, then—but not a malicious one. The AptiQuant website contains no ads that I can see, and BBC News says the PDF file detailing the results doesn’t contain any malware. I’m guessing the site was set up by clever pranksters who just wanted to poke fun at IE users.

Their scheme worked—brilliantly so. The BBC wasn’t the only one to pick up the story last week; so did CNN, Forbes, The Register, Slashdot, and many others. The bogus survey got quite a bit of exposure… and probably miffed more than a few IE users.

Comments closed
    • EsotericLord
    • 8 years ago

    Was a good troll.

    Amazing how worked up people can get over something as stupidly simple as an internet browser, this site included. Was funny reading all the threads yesterday with people acting like they were members of an advanced race of supermen because they use FF/Opera/Chrome/whatever instead of IE.

    Barely any difference between modern browsers these days, besides those that are perceived in various fanboy minds.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 8 years ago

    Even my local news reported on the study.

    • larchy
    • 8 years ago

    The whole thing was rather hilarious though.

    [url<]http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/science-%26-technology/if-you're-using-internet-explorer%2c-this-is-called-a-'website'-201108034150/[/url<]

    • Turkina
    • 8 years ago

    I forwarded it to the IE users I know, but they didn’t really understand the article anyway…

    • Kaleid
    • 8 years ago

    A gullibility test which so many used as an ego boost.. 🙂

    • egon
    • 8 years ago

    What’s with all the brownie for bthylafh? Looks to me like he/she reflexively spouted “troll troll troll” (that was the entire post) and got lucky. When credit’s really due is the occasion where a skeptical reader does a bit of sleuthing and posts evidence for their suspicions.

      • bthylafh
      • 8 years ago

      Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Knew it was a troll post.

    It doesn’t change what I have suspected though. The majority don’t care about what kind of browser they use. They use whatever is loaded with their system.

      • Game_boy
      • 8 years ago

      They are just stuck with what their employer/school installed. Corporate use is the main reason XP and IE6/7 stats remain so high years after both left mainstream support.

      Also: Until recently you could not do online banking anywhere in South Korea without IE for an ActiveX control. Population of over 50 million…

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        Nope, the majority of users simply don’t care.

        It is a vocal minority that refuses to accept that browser wars have been over for years. All of the major browsers are same the bloody thing with a few subtle difference in UI choice. The speed argument is just silliness. The bottleneck is typically the pluggins not the browser itself barring I/O and CPU (mostly an issue with old hardware).

        Browser fanboys make GPU fanboys look like a sane bunch.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]Nope, the majority of users simply don't care. It is a vocal minority that refuses to accept that browser wars have been over for years.[/quote<] The majority NEVER cared. If anything, more people care now than every before.

          • Meadows
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]"Browser fanboys make GPU fanboys look like a sane bench."[/quote<] [url<]http://bit.ly/pVYB2M[/url<]

    • Scrotos
    • 8 years ago

    [i<]and probably miffed more than a few IE users.[/i<] Oh, like they understood the implications anyway!

      • flip-mode
      • 8 years ago

      That was awesome.

    • setbit
    • 8 years ago

    Aptiquant has come clean about the hoax: [url<]http://www.aptiquant.com/[/url<] They actually run a shopping comparison site, and say they wanted to create awareness of how difficult it is for websites to support IE6 (and maybe,[i<]just maybe[/i<], get a teensy bit of free publicity for their site).

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Reminds me of the iPhone [i<]x[/i<] rumor posts every week on every tech site. And the headlines that ask a question.

    • NeelyCam
    • 8 years ago

    I was punked. Big time.

    G*ddammit

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 8 years ago

      Must be an IE user.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        No – just someone with a graph fetish. I had to analyze the results left, right and backwards – Arag0n and I had some lengthy (and ultimately pointless) discussions on what the results truly mean.

        It looked too real and well-thought-of to be a prank… so I took it seriously.

        Ashton Kutcher – FU!

    • jstern
    • 8 years ago

    Those IE IQ score were rather low to be real.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    These kinds of things don’t make the news in my country.

    • bthylafh
    • 8 years ago

    …and to think that I got voted down for pointing out that this was a troll.

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      I had a feeling as well, which is why I didn’t spread it around.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This