Wikipedia editors attempted to change the definition of “recession” 41 times in roughly one week, leading an administrator to place a pause on editing Thursday.
Users repeatedly deleted the technical definition of recession that describes the phenomenon as having negative GDP growth for two consecutive quarters, as economist Julius Shiskin declared in 1974. Editors appeared conflicted on the proper definition of the economic term, leading to many attempts to either alter the definition or revert it to the original, the Daily Wire reported.
Writer Ann Bauer posted a photograph of the long list of revisions made by several editors.
Here is the revision history from roughly the past 24 hours on Wikipedia’s RECESSION page: pic.twitter.com/LxU5RiEEZ9
— Ann Bauer (@annbauerwriter) July 27, 2022
One editor, Soibangla, claimed “there is no global consensus on” the definition of a recession, according to the Daily Wire. The number of edits administered to the page led an administrator named “Anarchyte” to lock all edits due to repeated “unsourced or poorly sourced content.” (RELATED: ‘Doesn’t Sound Like A Recession To Me’: Biden In Denial Over Slumping Economy)
The definition of recession has been called into question leading up to the release of the report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The report found that the GDP decreased by 0.9% in the second consecutive quarter of 22, meaning the country, under Shiskin’s definition, is in a recession.
The White House argued the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months,” and looks to various factors including inflation-adjusted income, consumption expenditures and industrial production, and various employment statistics.
Google defines it as “a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.”
In a July 21 blog post, the White House argued that the NBER has indicated there is a “strong growth in the U.S. economy,” given that the agency looks to the labor market, incomes, consumer and business spending and industrial production to indicate a recession.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that the nation is in a “new phase in our recovery,” touting the 1.1 million jobs created in the last three months and 3% increase in spending. Similarly, White House Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese said “virtually nothing signals” that the U.S. is in a recession due to the 3.6% unemployment rate and labor market.