Okay, so I'm aware that Wikipedia is unreliable for formal research, but when I'm looking for information on some new thing, a show that caught my interest for instance, I'm not looking for total disclosure. I just want a basic summary, maybe a dossier on some of the characters. Wikipedia--I thought--served my needs beautifully. Just enough to let me know whether I'd like it. While I knew that the articles weren't regulated, I never actually stopped to think about what that meant. It never occurred to me that they might be seriously biased.
I've been sniffing around Torchwood for a few days now. I've watched the nine episodes of Series 1, I've read the manifestos and what meta I've been able to find. I'm still new and green to the fandom, but I like to think I'm getting the hang of things. Wikipedia was my first foray, as it so often is.
And what I've found, is that the Torchwood Wikipedia articles I read in the beginning are not-so-subtly biased against Janto and not-so-subtly biased in favor of (*snicker*) Gwack. They're actually a-bit-more-subtly biased against Ianto in general. After I read the articles I wasn't prepared to be a great fan of his. I didn't actually like him much, and he came off as kind of a...well, a jerk. I was fully expecting him to be a needy, whiny prat--rather like Bosie, actually.
Since then, I have become quite a hard-core Janto fan. And an Iantophile most of all. God, I love him so much. There's just so much more to him than whoever wrote those articles wanted me to think. I am steeped in horror whenever I think about how I might have continued not to like him, even now, if I'd not been so hungry for more Torchwood (and especially Jack Harkness, which is who my interest began with). I might not have bothered with any meta or anything and continued seeing things through Wikiglasses. Thank god for all the pro-Ianto out there.
Completely separate from Torchwood, however, this discovery disturbs me greatly. How many other fandoms have I passed over because Wikipedia led me to believe things that aren't strictly true? Or at least not the entire truth, but only one aspect of it?
So, this is a warning, both to others and to myself. Don't let Wikipedia turn you off a fandom. Research it other places, because those articles are written by individuals and may reflect individual bias. Especially, don't let Wikipedia turn you off of Ianto. He's actually a delightful, heartbreaking, very brave and strong character. I adore him to the tips of his pretty eye-lashes and pretty Welsh vowels.