On WikipediaWikipedia is about commitment, not consensus, despite its prospectus, which is a pity, because I believe that consensus is a tremendous guiding principle, but sticking power makes a lousy one. An editor can write the truth but if they do not stay to defend that truth, sometimes at their peril in the community, it can be removed or defaced by another.
If a group of editors work together to display that commitment, they can influence the content of any given article so that it remains incorrect in perpetuity. They simply need to be motivated to do so.
These groups already exist. Unfortunately, they are populated with editors with no sense of their own ridiculousness, who will pompously demand "reputable sources" and use for their sources partisans who did not see what they report and have no more credibility than anyone else would or groups that are unabashedly POV, and who will argue one thing on one page and another on another, so long as what they argue in each place fits their POV. Because the editors involved have an agenda, they do not care that they are inconsistent or use double standards. They only care that their POV predominates. (Yes, I assume good faith. I assume that their motivations are not dishonest but that they feel they are defending a POV that requires it, just as many of us do our own POVs. Above all, I assume Hanlon's Razor applies and they are too stupid to realise how openly they have displayed their hypocrisy.) Anyone who works on articles on the Middle East, on Christianity-related subjects, on political figures who have been in any way controversial, or indeed on any subject that invokes factions will know that this is true. Some articles seesaw between POVs, some have a queasy balance (and are usually utterly unreadable because of it) but in others, a POV is overrepresented, so that its presentation is far from neutral.
Wikipedia is not a particularly important work in the world, whatever some of its more pompous and self-important users like to think. If it were, companies would hire people to manipulate its articles and political groupings would do the same. It's clearly possible, as I've described, but it does not happen. The rules will need to be changed when Stormfront realise how few Nazis it would take to rewrite articles and solidify the rewrite (of course, Stormfront are dumb enough to try to rewrite Jew and not more minor articles that are less easy to rally support for).
Of course, Wikipedia has many other problems, which most of the establishment sort of hopes will just go away. It tends to ignore the real issues and focuses on minor bullshit such as trolls and vandals, which are simply day-to-day annoyances rather than lasting deficiencies, and attract far too much attention.
I believe it could have been great though. I think Jimmy Wales's vision was great but I feel sad that even he doesn't believe in it enough. He would have done better to stand aside than to be the rather muddleheaded tyrant that he has become, tediously directing policy whenever someone looks like suing him and empowering a group of mostly conservative powertrippers, who wouldn't recognise a consensus if they tripped over one.
One of the bigger clashes on Wikipedia, bigger even than that between those who think that it should be fundamentally true and fundamentally neutral and those who simply do not, is that between the inclusionists and the deletionists. The former want a broad encyclopaedia of everything. They are true encyclopaedists, who believe that all the world is worthy of note. The latter want to restrict the encyclopaedia and spend a lot of their time trying to prune it of what they consider to be trivialities. (I am not talking about pages that say "YOU EAT COKKKK OMG!!!!" but ones on minor bands, episodes of the Simpsons and other bullshit that is of interest only to few.) Not one of these creatures has ever successfully explained why an encyclopaedia is harmed by having broad coverage. They don't, after all, seem to mind lack of comprehensiveness and cohesion, both of which Wikipedia suffers from. Nor do they care much that their bars to entry are entirely arbitrary, largely consisting of nothing more than their own (often very limited) knowledge. What harm it does to cover the byways of human existence, I don't know, but I've long given up trying to discuss it with the nerdy stayathomes who spend their evenings destroying other people's little projects.
Those who want to make a slightly bigger, slightly worse Britannica will probably win in the end because Wikipedia will always be a magnet for those who have a greater sense of their own importance than is strictly merited, and those guys just will never get the idea that an encyclopaedia need not be particularly restrictive to be good, because it would deflate that sense. Quality, which they struggle to define but we all know what is meant by it, after all, since we are largely white, middle-class geeks or quasi-geeks, makes them feel big; contributors to something special. They just don't see the specialness in a Borgesian library of bollocks, whose corridors a person can lose themselves in. I realised what limited minds I was dealing with when they deleted the Frost War article. It was an article about a flame war on some games site or other. None of the geeks could see why it was interesting, or even if not interesting, why it was just a harmless tidbit, a crumb. I enjoyed reading it as a thing in itself, because I've done flamewars and I understand and appreciate the dynamic. But most of Wikipedia's denizens are the kind of guy who would ToS you to your ISP if you singed their butts. One of the leading bureaucrat types, Dave Gerrard, was, I think, the leader of a group of netkkkops on alt.goth (alt.gothic? Can't remember the name, but I remember reading some manifesto by the netkkkop crew -- they didn't even have the good taste not to boast about it).
Of course, that does mean that the dream of a tremendous edifice of learning -- a wild dream to begin with, given the burdens of POV pushing, a bureaucracy that feeds itself (never, surely, part of the wiki concept -- I can't see how it's particularly constructive to spend hours, days and weeks burning witches -- but lots of people enjoy the quasi-legal bullshitting that passes for a dispute process), the wild inaccuracy of much of the encyclopaedia and the outright fuckwittedry that it has to shoulder -- is sacrificed to the smallminded, limited vision of people who are labouring under a rather antiquated notion of what's important (peculiarly, many Wikipedians strive to make it a modernist masterpiece, like Britannica or OED in their realms, rather than understand the great attraction and promise of it as a ''postmodernist'' wonder -- still, I suppose that many are "scientists" and few "artists" and the former are very much stuck in the modernist idiom).