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 Potential Sockpuppetry.

"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 Guantanamo Bay.

"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."

About Quova

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.

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