Wikipedia is completely unreliable not just because of the possibility that an entry contains errors or biased statements. The more pernicious aspect of its unreliability is missing information. Statements of fact in an entry can be verified, but unless a visitor is familiar with the subject, they won't be able to figure out what the entry isn't telling them about the subject.
A case in point is the entry on Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (tinyurl.com/33tyxc). What you won't find in that entry is the undisputed fact that while at UCLA, he was a leader of the group MEChA. In fact, during the L.A. mayoral campaign someone followed him around with a sign and eventually forced him to somewhat renounce his involvement in that group.
As far as I can determine, information on his involvement was deleted from his WP entry on May 9, 2006 and it has not been reinstated (diff: tinyurl.com/2shlrh). I didn't add the paragraph that was deleted, but I had a discussion about another similar paragraph that I added that was subsequently deleted on their talk page (do a find for LonewackoDotCom at tinyurl.com/2l63tj)
As a test, I'm going to insert a modified version of that paragraph and see how long it sticks and who removes it. This is the original paragraph:
On the other hand, there is still some lingering resentment from his district after breaking the promise to serve a full term in the city council. He has remained mum about plans for higher office. Among conservatives, he is often referred to derisively as ''Mayor Reconquista'' because of his membership in MEChA and his support for amnesty for illegal immigrants.
I'm going to change that to the following and put it near the end of the article in the 'Reputation' subsection of the 'Mayoralty' section:
At UCLA, Villaraigosa was a leader of the group MEChA [http://www.bruinalumni.com/antonio/antonioindex.html] [http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=3531] [http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/recall/20030830-9999_1n30mecha.html]. Some, such as John and Ken of KFI, derisively refer to him as ''Mayor Reconquista'' because of that and because of his support for amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Note that there are at least three links supporting the claim that Villaraigosa was involved with MEChA, so one wonders what interesting excuse whoever deletes this will come up with.
Miscellania · Fri, 01/26/2007 - 11:11 · Importance: 1