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Most college professors discourage students from using Wikipedia as a reliable source of information, and if you’ve ever wondered why, here is the reason:
There are millions of people who browse Wikipedia in any given month, but only 2 percent of them (roughly 1,400) are responsible for editing nearly 75 percent of the information on the entire website.
In other words, Wikipedia, while editable by anyone, is fueled almost entirely by the knowledge of a small, select group of individuals.
Consider them the Illuminati of Wikipedia; they control the flow of information that often finds its way into our college essays, despite our professors’ best attempts to dissuade us from citing it.
The source of this startling revelation? The face of Wikipedia, Jimbo Wales.
But, [Wales] insisted, the truth was rather different: Wikipedia was actually written by "a community ... a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers" where "I know all of them and they all know each other". Really, "it's much like any traditional organization."
[…] So did the Gang of 500 actually write Wikipedia? Wales decided to run a simple study to find out: he counted who made the most edits to the site. "I expected to find something like an 80-20 rule: 80% of the work being done by 20% of the users, just because that seems to come up a lot. But it's actually much, much tighter than that: it turns out over 50% of all the edits are done by just .7% of the users ... 524 people. ... And in fact the most active 2%, which is 1400 people, have done 73.4% of all the edits." The remaining 25% of edits, he said, were from "people who [are] contributing ... a minor change of a fact or a minor spelling fix ... or something like that."
You know what that means: Wikipedia will never be accepted by professors, so get used to going to the—gasp—library and reading—cringe—books.