2014/12/11: Wikipedia is amazing. But it’s become a rancorous, sexist, elitist, stupidly bureaucratic mess.
As it turned out, I’d run into a couple of what one Wikipedia administrator terms “The Unblockables,” a class of abrasive editors who can get away with murder because they have enough of a fan club within Wikipedia, so any complaint made against them would be met with hostility and opprobrium.
Wikipedia’s overarching goal is the much-vaunted neutral point of view, or NPOV, which means that an article should impartially reflect the opinions of reliable sources, or RS, on a subject in proportion to their prominence. In practice, this can mean any number of things. In the best case, which does occur reasonably often, spirited debate on the “talk” page of an article results in ongoing negotiations and refinement to an article until it is truly high quality. The editors who can work harmoniously in pursuit of this ideal goal of neutral “consensus” can make editing Wikipedia a wonderful and productive experience. Yet in other cases, it can result in ongoing “edit wars” in which groups of headstrong editors group into dueling factions that duke it out for supremacy of their version of the page—“consensus” achieved not through impartiality but through the greater endurance of one side of partisans.