A massive re-organization appears to be happening at Wikipedia, as co-founder Jimmy Wales has relinquished his top-level control over the encyclopaedia's content, as well as all of its parent company's projects.
The shake-up followed the growing controversy surrounding pornographic images that appear on the online encyclopaedia.
Despite remaining the President of the organisation, Wales can no longer delete files, remove administrators, assign projects or edit any content - he has been brought down to a low-level administrator.
"He had the highest level of control, he was our leader," Fox News quoted a source as saying, who also said that there was total chaos and no one was in-charge for the moment.
Wales had personally deleted many of the images from Wikimedia's servers, and that he'd ordered that thousands more be purged. Now many of those images have been restored to their original web pages.
Recently, a fiery debate has been surrounding the issue, concerning whether the images are really pornographic or not, and whether they should be deleted.
One lengthy e-mail response read in part:
"In essence, right now Jimbo is deleting things based on his singular judgment about what should be allowed.... This is a large change and lack of a clear policy creates a very confusing and frustrating environment for editors. (Multiple Commons admins have already stated their intention to resign and/or retire over this.)"
But Wales' act of defending his actions only invited further trouble.
One administrator wrote, "If this is an emergency situation requiring a justified, immediate, unilateral, king-like massive action, I regret Mr. Wales didn't take the time to explain the emergency to us.
"By rush-imposing his views and decisions on people who are not out of the debate yet, he is browbeating their inner self, ignoring their beliefs and opinions, discarding the value of the Other.
"This lack of respect and of equality of vote should be extremely well argumented and the reasons transparently communicated. Otherwise, trust, faith and adhesion to the [Wikimedia Foundation] values dissolve. I don't think we should let this happen. Mr. Wales, I hope you enter reason and dialogue realms again...."
By Thursday, the discussion had devolved into an all-out war pitting board members against board members, and with top leadership sparring with lower level administrators.