Internet Explorer IQ Study a Hoax

Dennis Faas's picture

A recent study suggested that Internet Explorer user IQs are lower than those who do not use Internet Explorer. Now, those responsible for the post are informing the public that everything from the results of the study to the company itself (called "AptiQuant") was a hoax.

The report went viral in large part due to the attractive headline used to describe the report: "Is Internet Explorer for the Dumb? A New Study Suggests Exactly That." The news should provide some semblance of relief for Microsoft as the results of the fake study claimed that users of the aging Internet Explorer 6 browser had the lowest IQ of all that were tested.

Originally, AptiQuant had labeled themselves a Canadian company. But suspicions began to surface after it was discovered that the website had been registered just three weeks prior, coupled with the fact that a search for "AptiQuant" within the Canadian government's business registry came back negative. (Source:

The blog post clarification now confirms these suspicions: "There is no company called AptiQuant, and no such survey was ever done. This was all meant to be a lighthearted joke."

But a French firm whose web content had been stolen to add credibility to the hoax is not laughing.

Legit Web Content Added Credibility to Hoax

Portions of the AptiQuant website had been taken from Central Test, a French firm that develops psychometric tests for recruiters, career guidance counselors, career managers and corporate staff development teams. Among the lifted material were personnel photos and actual client comments. (Source:

AptiQuant posted photos of several members of the Central Test executive team and changed their identities. Graphic designer Rianala Randriambololana of Central Test was renamed "Kumar Ramarangranathan" on AptiQuant, for example.

When approached for comment, Patrick Leguide (founder and president of Central Test) believed that the AptiQuant hoax would not harm the reputation of his company in the long run, but did admit he was unsure what his company would (or even could) do about the supposed identity theft.

Hoax Intended to "Create IE6 Awareness"

The blog post did reveal that AptiQuant was in the process of removing all Central Test content from their site. The clarification message ended with an explanation claiming that the hoax was done to "create awareness about the incompatibilities of IE6 and how it is pulling back innovation."

Microsoft has not commented on the hoax.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet