Is Wikipedia a "marvel of collaboration" and a "model of peer production"? Or is it a poorly implemented bureaucracy, with "fiefdoms, cliques and sycophancy to the charismatic leader"?
This toxic mix of paranoia, fear of infiltrators and a social system where status can be acquired by fighting off threats (real or imagined) exploded recently into a governance scandal familiar to any observer of bureaucratic politics. A prominent Wikipedia administrator unilaterally revoked the account of a highly regarded contributor. When questioned, the response claimed the evidence was too sensitive to be released to the public, but had been vetted at the highest levels. Shortly after, the administrator reversed the action, apologising and citing new information. The end of the matter? No. It had barely begun.