August 4, 2011 report
Study linking browser choice and IQ level a hoax
In a truly bizarre case of what is both right and wrong with modern technology, a hoax has been uncovered regarding a story about a psychometric consulting company that had supposedly undertaken a study correlating IQ levels to choice of browser.
The bogus report claimed that users of Microsofts line of browsers scored lower on IQ tests than those for virtually all other browsers. Now it turns out, the whole thing was completely made up by someone claiming to be Tarandeep Gill.
The story appeared fishy to many readers of the report who then began to do a little digging. Another site, Central Test, was found that appeared to have ties to the first, going so far as to use the same photographs for supposed employees of the company. Further research showed that the AptiQuant site, the original source of the study had appeared on the internet just about the same time as the IQ/browser story broke.
It appears leading news organizations around the world were duped by the perpetuator of this hoax, including the BBC, Forbes and CNN. Also, it should be noted that it appears that the Central Test site was a victim itself, as it appears Mr. Gill, if that is indeed his real name, simply copied information and pictures from that site and presented them as his own.
Now that the hoax has been uncovered, the AptiQuant site has updated its About Us page and freely admits to the hoax and offers an explanation of how it got started and
Mr. Gill (who says hes from Toronto Canada, not San Francisco) says it was all born out of frustration with the worldwide Internet Explorer user community who have been clinging steadfastly to outdated versions of the venerable browser, causing him difficulty in creating his website, AtCheap.com, that would support virtually anyone who visited. He claims it was not a cheap publicity stunt but an honest attempt to push such users away from IE browsers to those he considered a better choice for everyone.
He adds that he sent out the press release in hopes of attracting as much attention as possible, but was surprised himself at the amount of press that was received, and suggests it happened because other people felt as he did. He concludes by apologizing to Central Test for stealing their copy and photos and to those Internet Explorer users who felt insulted by both how he worded his press release and for implying they were less intelligent than other people.
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