A recent article reports that inside the "inner circle" of Wikipedia authors and editors, there are a lot of backstabbing politics. Does this mean that Wikipedia is getting more "academic" after all? Perhaps the old saying "the politics are so bad because the stakes are so low" applies equally to a college English department and to the literati of nonprofit Wikipedia. On the other hand, a significant number of people actually read what comes out of Wikipedia, so perhaps the stakes wouldn't be as quite low as those on hand in an English department.
Richard Skrenta makes the case that this kind of political maneuvering is normal in any "social game."