The popular and publicly-editable information site Wikipedia has reportedly locked its page on “economic recession” after dozens of users kept changing the definition.
The massive public back-and-forth on the site began after the Biden White House spent the week splitting hairs and redefining the term to avoid taking responsibility for the current economic dumpster fire. According to a public archive of the site’s changes, more than 41 edits were made to Wikipedia’s “recession” page, including multiple alterations by a user under the name “Soibangla” who repeatedly deleted changes by other users who had added quotes by economists defining a recession as “two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.”
It’s that longstanding definition that the White House has taken issue with, with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly denying it from the briefing room podium.
"If we all understand a recession to be to consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth in a row, and then you have White House officials come up here to say, “No no no, that’s not what a recession is. It’s something else.’ How is that not redefining a recession?” Fox News' Peter Doocy asked at the White House press briefing Thursday.
“Because that’s not the definition,” Jean-Pierre lamely responded.
Doocy: "If things are going so great, why are White House officials are redefining recession?"— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 27, 2022
Jean-Pierre: "We are not."
Doocy: "It's two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth... How is that not redefining recession?"
Jean-Pierre: "That's not the definition." pic.twitter.com/eyyvYdZWMj
The White House also issued a statement claiming that while two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth has traditionally been understood as the beginning of a recession, that’s “neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle.”
It may not be the way the White House evaluates it, but rising inflation, unsustainable gas prices, sky-high energy bills and mounting financial problems is certainly the way most Americans evaluate it.
And there’s no amount of denial this administration can scream from the rafters that’s going to affect that.
As for Wikipedia, the company called the rapid-fire edits to its "recession" page "vandalism" and said many of the changes were based on "unsourced or poorly sourced content." The site added that the page may be opened back up to edits in August - if there are no more problems.
And as for their definition of "recession," the site published this: "a recession is a business cycle contraction when there is a general decline in economic activity.”
In that case, it sure seems like a recession to me.