A bizarre and widely reported study claiming that users of Internet Explorer were dumber than users of other web browsers was just a hoax, the BBC reports. "The company's website was only recently set up and staff images were copied from a legitimate business in Paris," the report notes. "It is unclear who was behind the stunt."

"Questions about the authenticity of the story were raised by readers of the BBC website who established that the company which put out the research - ApTiquant - appeared to have only set-up its website in the past month."

The BBC noted that it, CNN, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and Forbes all reported on the original story, apparently in an effort to prove that everyone was fooled by this. But there was something fishy about this one from the get-go: I never reported it as a news item, but instead posted a short blog post instead, framing it not as an event or fact, but as a question (Study: IE Users Are ... Dumb?).