'The larger moral of this story is that Wikipedia itself is a fundamentally flawed and unreliable source. In fact, it is wrong even to describe — much less to use — Wikipedia as a source. Wikipedia is merely a platform. Since anyone and everyone can edit Wikipedia entries and since they can do so anonymously, Wikipedia is, by its very nature, susceptible to constant manipulation. Indeed, even editors who choose to reveal their real identities remain for all intents and purposes anonymous. Readers will not, as a rule, search out the authorship of each and every edit, and they would not, as a rule, know who the authors are even if they did. As such, Wikipedia editors have no reputations, so they have no reputations to hurt.

At its best, Wikipedia would be essentially just a clearing house of citations of other sources and those sources would necessarily often be competing and discordant. The truth, as is its wont, would only emerge in the process of discussion and debate.'

- John Rosenthal, 'The Trouble with Wikipedia: A Cautionary Tale'.


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