“Wikipedia found itself a mainstay of the culture with unexpected speed, in part because of its unplanned synergistic relationship with Google. It became a test case for ideas of crowd intelligence: users endlessly debated the reliability—in theory and in actuality—of articles written in an authoritative tone by people with no credentials, no verifiable identity, and unknown prejudices. Wikipedia was notoriously subject to vandalism. It exposed the difficulties—perhaps the impossibility—of reaching a neutral, consensus view of disputed, tumultuous reality.”
Gleick, James. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. New York: Pantheon Books, 2011. Print. 382.
Student Writing Sample
Despite being a very useful general reference source, Wikipedia articles should be used with caution, because they are authored mostly by non-experts without any kind of verifiable identity.