Why would anybody go to the effort of releasing a fake study that supposedly proves IE users have lower IQs than those of us who favour Firefox, Safari and Chrome?
Media around the world jumped on the results of a study issued by fake Canadian company Aptiquant in the past week, which purported to have conducted a study inviting 100,000 web users to take IQ tests – then matched their results with the browser they used. In a press release, it said people using IE recorded lower IQ scores.
It later emerged the company's website had only been recently set up and content had been filched from the site of legitimate French research company Central Test.
Central Test said it was aware of the "fraudulent use of its identity" but denied any link with Aptiquant.
Tarandeep Gill, who claims responsibility for the hoax, says he genuinely wanted to create awareness about the flaws of IE versions 6.0 to 8.0 – and that he'd be happy if even 100 people gave it up after the whole episode.
Gill says he's a programmer based in Vancouver and came up with the idea while building his comparison shopping website.
"We found IE 6.0 to 8.0 really hard to work with," he said.
"I am sure every web-developer has at least once in their lifetime felt that how much better the world would be, if there was no IE. I would like to congratulate Microsoft for making IE 9.0 so compatible, but this whole hoax thing was targeted at IE 6.0 to 8.0."
He said he accepted full responsibility for the hoax. A group of IE users were threatening him with a lawsuit, he said.
"I would once again like to apologise to IE users who felt insulted, and to Central Test for copying their stuff without permission."