Forced Consensus or Natural Confluence?
Orthodox or Heterodox?
If we were to list the genuinely ‘good’ humanity-improving creations of the internet age, I suspect Wikipedia would feature on almost everyone’s top ten. It’s an unparalleled resource. It’s one of the few transnational repositories not wholly subordinated to aggressive – and therefore limiting – editorial bias. Wikipedia is bigger than the expedient day-to-day prescription of a particular institution or ideology.
To my mind, three formidable forces threaten to erode what’s most special about Wikipedia (and indeed any independent popular information resource):
- American internecine politics
- China Communist Party propaganda
- Conflation of consensus with monopoly on truth.
The worst of outcomes would be for its current – and future – gatekeepers to submit to the creeping poison of official ‘manufactured consent’.
By dint of its global brand-recognition Wikipedia is an A1 target for editorial capture and, everywhere it serves the empowerment of top-down orthodoxy, for its invaluable content to become infected by groupthink dogma.