Just because you can edit Wikipedia doesn’t mean you should.
I’ve merely dabbled. Added references to things where I knew of them, mostly. Added text on things where I knew for definite that relevant information was missing, and where I could cite a source. A couple of times I’ve added photos of a subject that I had handy.
And I’ve added those articles to my Watch List, so I can keep track of how they change subsequently.
Often there are smart, informed people coming in and doing as I do — adding useful information where they have firm knowledge, gradually refining what’s there.
And then there’s the idiots. The clowns who think Wikipedia is their playground.
It’s not even intelligent vandalism. They’ll come in and add a reference to themselves or their friends because they think they should be famous. They’ll put in some stupid joke reference to someone. Much of the time these things are easy to spot because they’re badly spelt. Sometimes they’ll come in and chop a huge chunk of text out of an article.
Or in other cases people will put something in that they think is right, based on some half-remembered fact, which is actually wrong and there’s no evidence to back it up.
Then people like me come in and undo the change.
What amazes me is that in this day and age, Wikipedia still accepts anonymous changes to most of its articles. I can’t help but think it wouldn’t be quite as common if it at least required people to create a logon first, and it was easier to track which logons were responsible for what.
One thing they are apparently planning to do is colour-code text based on how “trustworthy” it is, based on who has contributed it and how long it’s been in the article. I can see that may well help for readers to see what’s reliable, what’s half-arsed conjecture, and what’s total crap.