Declining Murder Rates And Internet Explorer

Gizmodo passes along this amusing chart:


Now, this is obviously one of those “correlation does not equal causation” moments. Or, is it? I know that using Internet Exploder used to make me really, really angry back in the day.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. David says:

    I don’t know, my life seems a lot less stressful since we switched to Chrome at work, and its been years since I used IE at home… Maybe guns don’t kill people, people using IE kill people…

  2. Tony W says:

    It’s like pirates and global warming!

  3. The Q says:

    Anybody see This Week on sunday with George Will and that obtuse idiot Rick Santorum?

    Will states that crime and murder rates are way down 50% to almost 1960s levels and muses that this is a remarkable achievement.

    Not 5 minutes later when they are discussing gun control does that total whack job Santorum state that because of the rising violence and crime in the USA its not fair to penalize legal gun owners.

    And this is why us libtards absolutely loath wingnut dipshiits who never get called on their ignorance and stupidity.

    A perfect example of this was on sunday when the panel didn’t immediately say, “Rick, to quote Dan Ackroyd, you ignorant slut…didn’t you just hear 5 minutes ago George Will categorically state how much LESS crime there is now?

    But the bubble crowd has no patience for facts or reality….they just blurt out their mindless drivel, and like the Germans, many start to believe this crap until you literally have to beat their heads with mallets to dissuade them from their wrongheaded views.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I know that using Internet Exploder used to make me really, really angry back in the day.

    Ok, I am the only one who caught this, still you gave me a laugh Doug.

  5. BIll says:

    When I was in the hospital in 2008, I was time warped back to the days of AOL dialup if I wanted to go online. The joy of 20 minutes to get online didn’t make me want to kill anyone, but maybe it caused me to watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch every morning till my discharge.

    The following year the hospital had wireless.

  6. JKB says:

    Think of the reduction if Excel declined in usage.

  7. Franklin says:

    @Tony W: I caught your reference, that’s exactly what I was thinking!

  8. superdestroyer says:

    This is the kind of graph that end up in an update of “How to Lie with Statistics.” A graph should always have zero on the y-axis unless it is log-normal.

  9. Franklin says:

    @superdestroyer: On this point, we are in total agreement.

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    THAT many people still used IE in 2009? Jebus…

  11. C. Clavin says:

    This is on par with Republicans planning to balance the budget in 10 years with no new taxes and not touching military spending.
    Both are blithely untethered from reality.

  12. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Think of the decline if we included Powerpoint….

  13. Nikki says:

    @grumpy realist: Hell, let’s go for zero murders and dump the whole Microsoft Office Suite!

  14. Jeremy says:

    @Nikki: Hear hear! Time for LibreOffice!

  15. TerryS says:

    Yes the decline in IE usage correlates with the murder rate.

    But, believe it or not, there are other explanations for the reduction.

    For example, the 500% increase in the incarceration rate.

    The question is, could we release 80% of prisoners without increasing the homicide rate
    in this gun-loving society?

  16. JuliaB says:

    Cute graph! I like what it is trying to say. I still use IE at work and when it crashes, I just want to throttle the next living thing I see.

    It is actually incorrectly titled, though. Should be “number of murders” rather than “murder rate,” for which I would expect to see a unit such as “murders per 100,000 per year” or something like that. It would also be nice to list the sources on the graph, too. For transparency.