There is a saying among Wikipedians that the problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it’s a total disaster. This summarize pretty well how Wikipedia has developed since its beginning. Anyone, old, young or Internet troll can edit, destroy, delete or simply make up stuff and post it on the site.
It does sounds like a recipe for making an absolute mess of unreliable information, because people will take advantage of these freedoms, right? They will abuse the system because they can, that’s how things work, or?
It’s hard to argue against that Wikipedia has been a huge success story, because there has been vandalism and issues but bots and moderators have quickly restored the pages, and the trolls have tired and gone home. Even deliberate large scale “attacks” have not really resulted in any lasting problems.
But ANYONE can write there how can there possibly be any good quality?
No ones disagree to that a professor at a good university is better qualified to write about research topics then a high school student. But something that is overlooked on the other hand is how an average person can create a high quality research article with a bit of help, some templates and when he/she feel an ownership over what’s being created.
Wikipedia have shown that there seem to be a disconnect between the quality that the people believe will happen and what actually is the result. This is not to say that there are no problem, because there are, but in the grand scheme of things have been working very well many steps have been taken to improve them further.
But perhaps the real lesson learnt is not stopping at Wikipedia, perhaps Internet is not so full of hate as we believe, perhaps we are better than we believe, as long as we get a template, a purpose and get to take some ownership over what we create?