I'm posting this because most people don't seem to understand how Wikipedia really works; they just see the glossy outer layer of Wikipedia. Like laws and sausages, if you enjoy Wikipedia articles you probably don't want to know how they are made.
For any mildly controversial subject the WP system doesn't work. Because all contributors (apart from admins, which I'll get to later) have equal power, when disputes happen, "revert wars" ensue where each party tries to get their version made official. Revert wars happen all the time and are usually incredibly time-consuming, frustrating and nonproductive for both parties. Useful, neutral information is lost. Progress is impossible. An enormous number of pages are in a constant state of revert war.
The winners of revert wars are those who are willing to spend the most time reverting their opponent; in other words, may the saddest bastard win. Even if they are completely wrong, they will whittle away at their opponents words until the real points are obscured, replaced with half-truths. The other side often becomes demoralized because their additions are continually and destructively deleted and so the other side takes over the page. It's all fairly primitive and territorial and not what an encyclopedia should be about.
There are admins; but these elite few are usually even sadder bastards than your average contributor, because to become an admin you seem to need to spend most of your spare time on wikipedia. In my experience, admins are usually just as biased, ignorant and unthinking as your average contributor but are more arrogant and inflexible. Admins have many special powers, which they frequently abuse.
There is a formal dispute resolution system, but it's rarely used. It seems only to "work" by wasting every one's time and escalating decisions up the hierarchy, but nobody wants to make hard decisions so disruptive idiots are usually left alone to cause trouble. If you are a legitimate contributor, you have to be a truly offensive individual to be punished.
The bulk of contributors are not neutral parties. They are people with an agenda to push, who are only interested in controversial issues and pet subjects. Not only will they only add material that furthers their agenda, they will delete and marginalize material opposed to their agenda, no matter how accurate it may be. This behaviour is officially frowned upon but practially tolerated; nobody really cares about biased contributors except in cases of blatant vandalism and offensiveness.
The neutrality policy is ridiculous. It basically states that Wikipedia's tone should be neutral but it does not say much about factual neutrality. One side can easily make pages incredibly biased simply by introducing more random facts than the other, making many pages disorganized lists of points for either side.
Wikipedia is full of sloppy writing and sloppy grammar. I'm not saying I write any better. Good writing is a hard skill; good encyclopedia writing is even harder because you must sum up difficult subjects in the smallest space possible. But few wikipedia articles even attempt to approach this ideal; most are badly organized with little or no summary.
Another person has commented about the "List of Jews". Wikipedia is full of bizarre stuff like that, categories and statistics and lists that would not belong in a normal encyclopedia. Many obsessive bean counters seem to have latched on to Wikipedia as an outlet for their compulsive behaviour. There are few standards for what actually should be included and what shouldn't.
Finally, no matter how many times fanatics repeat it, Wikipedia is NOT "just as good" as a real encyclopedia. It's dangerous false advertising to suggest otherwise. Writing an encyclopedia is hard work: it's difficult, it's boring and it requires time and expertise. An amateur encyclopedia is exactly that, no matter how many amateurs work on it.
It's easy to test Wikipedia and I recommend everyone do this for themselves. Simply insert random but dangerously false information that "sounds right" into a page and see how many days it lasts, and if it's deleted at all. You may be surprised, but see the process for yourself. Don't believe the hype.
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. -- GWB