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How a False Claim About Wikipedia Sparked a Right-Wing Media Frenzy

Slate “…The article was thrust into the limelight on July 28, when the Commerce Department released data showing that the U.S. gross domestic product had shrunk for a second straight quarter, meeting a common shorthand definition of a recession. Republicans, seeking to highlight the economy’s weakness as part of a case against Democrats ahead of midterm elections this fall, jumped on the news. Although most serious economists do not accept the two quarters shorthand definition, this didn’t stop politicians like Sen. Rick Scott of Florida from declaring that “Joe Biden has officially plunged America into a recession.” The Biden administration, meanwhile, emphasized that the National Bureau of Economic Research, the body responsible for judging recession dates, had not declared one…Wikipedians see neutrality as a core tenet of their work, and have long resisted providing any sort of commentary alongside articles apart from notices about the article itself (such as banners flagging inadequate sourcing). But in an unprecedented move, editors have placed a notice at the top of the article reading “Please visit the talk page and view the FAQ for questions about this page.” If this notice is adopted elsewhere, it would signal a shift in Wikipedia’s approach, away from letting its work speak for itself and toward a more active, transparent defense of its editorial decisions…”

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