Wikipedia, the collaborative online encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute, too often is demonized and used as a scapegoat for misinformation. In truth, it is not nearly as bad as it is made out to be.
The common argument against Wikipedia is that because anyone can edit it, it's wrong. Well, anyone can make a website, so does that mean no website can be trusted?
Wikipedia isn't infallible, but neither are other websites. There are people who contribute to Wikipedia because they want to help; those who place false information aren't the only users.
Also, the majority of people who vandalize Wikipedia pages just want attention. To get this, they are going to edit commonly visited articles, such as those of the current president, celebrities, well-known historical events and the like. If they're looking for attention, the changes are likely something obvious, like Abraham Lincoln invented the first flying saucer in order to win the War of 2020. A simple, non-noticeable change would ruin their entire purpose of vandalizing.
Unfortunately, there are a few people with malicious intentions who aren't inspired by attention. These may be the ones to make subtle changes that go unnoticed to people looking at a topic they know little or nothing about.
However, people vandalizing for sheer misinformation cannot be assumed to be in abundance. They get nothing out of their endeavors because they will never know if anyone took their bait.
Wikipedia does have methods for fighting back. If an article has seen constant vandalism, it is locked to avoid further defacing. A locked article can't be pinned with the excuse that anyone can edit it because not everyone can. Also, repeat offenders may be banned, which keeps them from making additional changes using the same computer or same account. These methods make sure that the information will remain safe.
It is possible that users have posted misinformation unintentionally, information that they believe to be true. If you use common sense, though, and don't blindly believe everything you read, then you will be OK. Wikipedia articles have source citations throughout the entries; when in doubt, confirm that source to check the veracity of the information.
Wikipedia's greatest advantage is its ease of use. Articles include a quick and clear summary of the topic at the top of the page, followed by more detailed sections. It also has the list of sources at the bottom that you can use for additional information.
In the end, Wikipedia shouldn't be your only source of information, but it still can be safely used as a source. Wikipedia is not evil; it's merely a new source of information that challenges conventional sources.