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Wikipedia has fixed edits to its page for “recession”, blocked a series of changes to the entry after the Biden administration asserted that the US economy had not yet entered a recession.
The website’s definition of a recession has been changed dozens of times over the course of 24 hours, in an apparent response to the White House’s resistance to calling the current economy a recession.
New and unregistered users are no longer allowed to edit the page, which is now “semi-protected” until August 3. according to Wikipedia.
Top Biden Administration Officials Reject Recession Talk
On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that the economy shrinking at an annual rate of 0.9% for the April-June quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative GDP aka gross domestic product. The continued decline in GDP is seen by many as an unofficial barometer for a recession.
Days before the release of the latest numbers assessing economic health, President Biden emphasized that low unemployment numbers, record job growth and foreign business investment signal an economy. strong.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also avoided sticking to the letter R during a recent appearance on NBC’s Meet the press. While two consecutive quarters of negative growth usually define a recession, she said, “When you’re creating nearly 400,000 jobs a month, it’s not a recession.”
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research The traditional definition of a recession is “a significant decline in economic activity across the economy and lasting for more than a few months,” a fact noted in a July 21 memo from The White House cited NBER as “the official who scored the recession.”
The series of edits on Wikipedia reflect the assurances of the administration
The GDP report was expected to show a negative number. In the days leading up to the data’s release, revisions were made to Wikipedia’s definition reflecting compliance with the Biden administration’s stance of denying recession.
A user named “Soibangla”, many of whom have recent edits to pages deprecated and disapproved by other users, made a significant edit to the trailers on Tuesday, add the line: “There is no global consensus on the definition of recession.”
Before that, it read: “While country definitions differ, two consecutive quarters of decline in one country [real gross domestic product] often used as a de facto definition of recession. ”
That language resembles its current iteration, an edition currently locked on Wikipedia: “Although the definition of a recession varies between countries and different scholars, two consecutive quarters of decline in A country’s real gross domestic product (real GDP) is often used as a de facto definition of recession.”
Now, the disclaimer on the page header warns viewers that the “recession” page could be updated quickly, citing “increasing political debate in the United States.”
“An outdated version of this article has been widely circulated,” the entry reads. “Please check that the claims or screenshots you’ve seen are consistent with what’s currently here.”
As with all Wikipedia pages, previous versions of the “regression” entry show up in the edit history.