October 27, 2008 08:00 ET
Quova Powers WikiWatcher Suite of Wikipedia Monitoring Tools
IP Geolocation Data Identifies Conflict-of-Interest Edits on Public Encyclopedia Site
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - October 27, 2008) - Quova, Inc., the leading provider of
Internet geolocation data services, announced that WikiWatcher, a suite of
Wikipedia-related tools, has replaced its current geolocation data provider
and integrated Quova's IP geolocation data for more accurate verification
of the location of those posting on Wikipedia. WikiWatcher is designed to
expose misuse of the open, consumer-edited Wikipedia.
Created by Virgil Griffith, a graduate student at the California Institute
of Technology, WikiWatcher helps enforce the integrity and accuracy of
content posted to Wikipedia, which can be open to abuse by individuals and
organizations. Griffith created the WikiWatcher suite of applications to
act as a watchdog for conflict-of-interest edits, such as a user modifying
existing Wikipedia content in order to promote their own interests.
At the core of WikiWatcher's new suite of tools is WikiScanner2, which aims
to secure Wikipedia against unscrupulous editors by identifying
conflict-of-interest edits. WikiScanner2 applies Quova's IP geolocation
data to tracking anonymous edits in Wikipedia. Once edits are made, Quova
data can provide data about the IP address of the editor including the ISP,
top-level and second-level domain, city and state. Quova is also able to
detect proxies and anonymizers, commonly used to mask location online, to
better identify a user. With this information, WikiScanner2 compares the
location data of the editor with the page containing the edits. If the
editor's IP matches or is related to the content that is edited, it is
identified as a conflict-of-interest edit. WikiScanner2 automatically
identifies these edits, providing better tools for consumers or journalists
interested in specific edits.
Quova data is also integrated into other areas of the WikiWatcher solution.
WikiWatcher also includes several other applications designed for Wikipedia
transparency, they are: Wikiganda, Poor Man's Check User, Beaver Scope and
"For too long, unscrupulous users have been able to change and distort the
history of an event by editing a Wikipedia page anonymously. But, if you
build in accountability to the edits by revealing information about the
editor, you are discouraging dishonest behavior by exposing it to the
world," said Virgil Griffith. "In order to preserve the integrity of
Wikipedia, we needed to create a public system for maintaining the honesty
of each post. WikiScanner was the first tool that was able to effectively
do that and with the new addition of Quova data, the tool will be more
comprehensive and accurate than before."
WikiScanner has already been able to identify conflict-of-interest edits
both from and for organizations like Diebold, the Church of Scientology,
the National Rifle Association, Federal Bureau of Investigation and
"Quova takes the anonymity out of the Internet and identifies IP addresses
to give relevance to a Web user, much like Virgil provides openness to the
Wikipedia community," said Marie Alexander, president and CEO of Quova.
"Our belief in accountability, transparency and integrity complement
Virgil's goals in developing the WikiWatcher suite. Quova's objective of
providing the most accurate data allows us to provide our customers and
partners as much visibility and insight into processes as possible."
Quova, Inc. enables online businesses to instantly identify where a visitor
to their Web site is geographically located. Major e-retailers, ad
networks, banks, and government agencies integrate Quova's data into their
Web applications to geo-target their advertising and content, detect
identify theft and card-not-present fraud, manage digital content
distribution, comply with local laws and more. Quova delivers detailed
demographic and network characteristic data about an IP address, down to a
city area. The data is 99.9% accurate at the country level and 96% accurate
at the US State level (independent research conducted by Pricewaterhouse
Coopers). Quova, founded in 2000, is based in Mountain View, California,
and is privately owned. www.quova.com.