Decisions made by Wikipedia editors are not law. But when it comes to determining what is 'normal' online -- and how much taboo we're willing to stomach on our Internet -- a Wikipedia referendum can count for just as much.
And isn't that alarming? I think that the average person really has a poor understanding of who makes up the Wikipedia community. I suspect that many people believe that even though "anyone can edit," people with serious credentials are in control of most of the articles in their fields. This goes hand in hand with a common misbegotten belief that most Wikipedia articles are heavily monitored and held to strict standards.
This brings a different sort of angle to the recent WR thread discussing the propriety of anonymity for Wikipedia editors. Anonymity doesn't just prevent editors from being held accountable for their edits; it also prevents the general public from seeing how many uneducated teenagers and basement-dwellers wield huge influence over the construction of Wikipedia's articles and procedures.