We've been Punk'd about IE users' IQ scores

By , ITworld |  Software, Internet Explorer

Charlie Sheen and Ashton Kutcher

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (L) and Chip East (R)

Is this a marketing scheme for Ashton Kutcher's new gig on "Two and a Half Men", to punk the Web? Or are we just really gullible? Or did the "IE users dumb as bag of hammers" story strike us as false, but was so fun we didn't care?

Now that the BBC did some real digging (Cheerio! Facts are fun!) we know what we all suspected early on: the IQ gap was too large between IE users and users of Firefox, Safari, Opera etc., to be real. One of the clues that tipped off the real smart people was a poll with 100,000 users: that takes some real time to do right. Evidently they never thought of putting a poll on a YouTube video of some guy getting whacked in the privates: those get 100,000 views before breakfast.

But I bet this gets listed in Top 10 Internet Pranks this year, and maybe for the decade.

IE users are suspect

I didn't believe the story (Safari and Chrome user), but all my Internet Explorer friends did. Maybe their was some truth to the story?
bwittie on pcworld.com

I guess they really proved fanboy types are gullible
Alien Sponge on computerworld.com

Just because there was no actual study done doesn't mean IE users aren't actually still dumber than Firefox users. The reason people bit on the hoax was that it states what many people already suspected. Go ahead and do the real study, you'll see.
Harbinger08 on computerworld.com

Janet's father has five daughters: 1. Lala, 2. Lele, 3. Lili, 4. Lolo. What is the name of his fifth daughter? You think it's Lulu? Wrong. Her name is Janet. Read the question again... and stop using Internet Explorer.
georgej on telegraph.co.uk

What media credibility?

D'oh! Really? Why was this obvious rubbish ever reported in the first place? Or are journalists so easily duped these days?
sharmi on telegraph.co.uk

Interesting then that The Daily Telegraph covered it pretty uncritically and made little attempt to point out the 'survey's obvious flaws. In fact it was left to the paper's readers to ask the obvious questions in the comments section. So having gained traffic for a story that turned out not to be a story at all, it is now getting traffic for a second story pointing this out. Any chance of an apology for lax journalistic standards?
dourscot on telegraph.co.uk

Didn't fool me

I wouldn't believe that story for an instant. Hats off to the BBC.
Gimasag3 on pcworld.com

Shame. I was experimenting to see whether my brain power went up and down as I used different browsers!
David Burbon on telegraph.co.uk

Who would have suspected? Headline: Obvious Hoax Turns Out to be a Hoax!
Iamopra on pcworld.com

Do you think this is A) all good fun, or B) a marketing ploy for some product?

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