In an interview on Slate, Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger (who left the organization) confirms the very reasons I quit having anything to do with the web site:
Q. Why did you feel so strongly about involving experts?
A. Because of the complete disregard for expert opinion among a group of amateurs working on a subject, and in particular because of their tendency to openly express contempt for experts. There was this attitude that experts should be disqualified [from participating] by the very fact that they had published on the subject–that because they had published, they were therefore biased. That frustrated me very much, to see that happening over and over again: experts essentially being driven away by people who didn’t have any respect for those who make it their
lives’ work to know things.
Q. Where do you think that contempt for expertise comes from? It’s seems odd to be committed to a project that’s all about sharing knowledge, yet dismiss those who’ve worked
so hard to acquire it.
A. There’s a whole worldview that’s shared by many programmers–although not all of them, of course–and by many young intellectuals that I characterize as “epistemic egalitarianism.” They’re greatly offended by the idea that anyone might be regarded as more reliable on a given topic than everyone else….
And later, just as accurately:
This is a general problem with Wikipedia: What is praised as consensus decision-making or crowd-sourcing often just means that the person with the loudest voice or the most time on his or her hands is the one who’s going to win.