Monthly Archives: December 2011

Erasing embarrassing news articles

The Daily Mail Online - Article deleted

On 28 July 2011, a press release (“Is Internet Explorer For The Dumb? A New Study Suggests Exactly That”) was issued by an apparently legitimate company called AptiQuant:

AptiQuant offered free online IQ tests to over a 100,000 people and then plotted the average IQ scores based on the browser on which the test was taken.  And the results are really not that surprising.  With just a look at the graphs in the report, it comes out pretty clear that Internet Explorer users scored lower than average on the IQ tests.

The press release was reported by many of the biggest news websites, including BBC News, CNN, The Huffington Post, Mail Online, Mashable, The Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, Business Insider, News.com.au, etc.

However, a few days later, it was revealed that the press release was actually a hoax, created by Canadian software engineer Tarandeep Gill, and that the company AptiQuant does not actually exist:

There is no company called AptiQuant, and no such survey was ever done.

The main purpose behind this hoax was to create awareness about the incompatibilities of IE6 and how it is pulling back innovation.

Those big news websites were suddenly facing an embarrassing dilemma… Continue reading

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