Wikipedia Accused of Changing Definition of Recession and Locking it

Is Wikipedia changing the definition or is this claim clickbait?
By Savannah Moss
Image: Oberon Copeland | Unsplash

Today on Twitter, Wikipedia is being accused of changing the definition of recession to match Joe Biden’s and locking it so it cannot be refined. As inflation continues to increase and feds continue to raise interest rates, many believe we are headed or are already within, a recession. This week, a GDP report showed the economy continued to slow, which can be used to measure a recession.

After President Joe Biden tried to soothe the worries of recession, some accused him of attempting to change the definition to suit him. Although many believe a second straight quarter of the GDP falling represents a recession, President Biden addressed the concerns in a statement, noting “Coming off of last year’s historic economic growth – and regaining all the private sector jobs lost during the pandemic crisis – it’s no surprise that the economy is slowing down as the Federal Reserve acts to bring down inflation.” Some believed this to be Biden avoiding defining this as a recession and accused him of attempting to change the definition. Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, also denied the country was headed to a recession,

So, with the debate about recession, what it means, and what it’s defined by, some users noticed Wikipedia was having an editing war on the definition of recession, as users were going back and forth on defining the term. Wikipedia then locked the editing, meaning only “registered and established” users could change the definition. Now, many Twitter users, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has called the website out for not remaining objective.

“Wikipedia changed the definition of recession that has been used for 50 years and then locked the page. Does this remind anybody else of Orwell’s 1984?” one person said, referring to the dystopian text by George Orwell. One user, however, posted a comparison of the definitions from the beginning of July to today, showing that the definition had not been changing in order to favor Biden’s statements.