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Definition of recession? Wikipedia bans edits to recession page amid ‘nonsense’

Last updated: August 3, 2022 at 2:43 p.m. ET

First published: August 3, 2022 at 1:36 p.m. ET

The free online encyclopedia Wikipedia has blocked some users from making changes to the site’s “Recession” page, as many people argue over the proper meaning of the term.

Starting August 3, only Wikipedia users who are registered on the site or who have not recently created a new account can make changes on the recession page, as it is now what Wikipedia calls “semi- protected”. Any edits made by other users will be subject to human review, the page’s editors said.

“Semi-protected…

The free online encyclopedia Wikipedia has blocked some users from making changes to the site’s “Recession” page, as many people argue over the proper meaning of the term.

Starting August 3, only Wikipedia users who are registered on the site or who have not recently created a new account can make changes on the recession page, as it is now what Wikipedia calls “semi- protected”. Any edits made by other users will be subject to human review, the page’s editors said.

“Semi-protected articles can only be edited by logged-in users whose accounts are at least 4 days old and have made at least 10 edits,” Wikimedia, the foundation behind Wikipedia, said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Volunteer editors regularly use these and other tools to ensure Wikipedia’s content is neutral and well-sourced.”

Wikipedia pages are maintained by a group of volunteer editors. These editors have created a separate page where people can debate the exact definition of a recession in a bid to “avoid clowning around” amid the “absurdity and vitriol that has occurred” on the recession page.

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The debate is over what exactly constitutes a recession, but each one is different. Although recessions often involve several consecutive quarters of declining GDP, this is not always the case.

Eight economists from a private group called the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) are the ones making the official call if the US is in a recession, and so far they have refused to do so despite the data of GDP.

The NBER considers several factors when labeling a recession, not just GDP data. These factors include unemployment, income growth and consumer spending.

Additionally, the White House pushed back on claims that the United States is in the midst of a recession.

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Despite these claims, some Americans remain unconvinced. According to a July Morning Consult poll, two-thirds of voters (65%) think the United States is currently in a recession. Republicans are more likely to think a recession is here, at 78%, compared to 30% of Democrats.

Interestingly, the poll shows that 65% of voters think the United States is currently in a recession, compared to only 51% who thought the United States was in a recession in March 2020, when the country was actually in a recession. according to the NBER.

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