The story claiming that a survey of more than 100,000 internet users revealed that Internet Explorer users had a lower IQ than other users using internet browsers like Chrome and Firefox was revealed to be fake.
The web firm, Aptiquant, that first posted the story last week, posted a follow-up on Wednesday entitled "Internet Explorer Study Was Indeed a Hoax."
The man behind the hoax made no delay in making his apologies known to the public by writing "Again, this was all meant to be a lighthearted joke. We did not mean to insult anyone, but if we have hurt anybody’s feelings, we apologize for that."
The full report that suggested IE users to have slightly lower IQ scores than Safari, Chrome and Firefox as well as Aptiquant's website was revealed to possess content original to another Web firm called Central Test.
Central Test on Wednesday posted a response to such hoax denying any direct or indirect link to Aptiquant. "Central Test is investigating the issue and we reserve any rights to pursue legal action against AptiQuant, or whoever is behind this" read the press release.
The story first incited major media outlets to report on such research and many other technology sites followed suit. A day after the story was published, hundreds of websites had already reported on the same story.
To the rapid proliferation of the story, the man who started the story replied, "But what’s really funny is that everybody took the report so seriously, with comments like ‘Oh did we need such a study, we already knew that.’”
BBC on Wednesday published an article reporting readers questioning the authenticity of the study, which in the end led the news outlet to investigate the material and discover the fake nature of the site.