A prominent economist revealed that Facebook put a fact-checking label on a post asserting the United States had entered a recession, giving it a “partly wrong” rating as President Biden continues to dismiss the poor assessment of the economy.
Dr. Philip Magnes, director of research and education at the American Institute for Economic Research, a liberal think tank, shared a screenshot from his Facebook account, showing that the social media site had “independent fact-checkers” reviewing its post from July 24, and that they found it “partly wrong.” .
We live in Orwell’s hell, Magnus chirp Thursday. “Facebook is now doing a “fact check” for anyone who questions the White House word games about defining a recession.”
Facebook added a notice to the post warning that “people who frequently share false information may have their posts moved lower in their News Feed for other people less likely to see.”
The correction comes after Biden denied last week that the US was in a recession, despite new data showing GDP contracting for the second consecutive quarter, meeting the long-accepted definition of a recession.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, the president sought to downplay the alarming report, shifting the focus to near-record low unemployment numbers and his administration’s progress in steps to tame spiraling inflation.
“That doesn’t sound like a recession to me,” he said, leading GOP leaders to accuse the president of “lighting the gas” on the nation, with the Republican National Committee announcing its GDP report referring to a “Biden recession.”
Other top administration officials followed Biden’s lead in dismissing the report showing that the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 0.9%, after a first-quarter decline of 1.6%.
“We must avoid a semantic battle,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters last week, adding that “Americans’ biggest fear is inflation” and that they generally feel good about their ability to find a job and stay in business.
Whether the United States is technically in a recession is usually determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a private, non-profit research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A week before the negative GDP report was released, the White House launched a protective blog post denying that two consecutive quarters of falling GPD were the official definition of a recession.
The author of the publication emphasized that “comprehensive data” such as “labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production and income” go into the true definition of a recession.
“Based on this data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year – even if it is followed by another drop in GDP in the second quarter – indicates a recession,” the post read.
Magnes, who has criticized Biden’s handling of the economy in the past, wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on July 27, accusing the White House of “playing word games,” rather than tackling underlying economic problems.
“The White House’s attempt to craft its way out of the recession shows the dangers of politicizing economic jargon,” he wrote. “Mr. Biden’s economic advisers are trying to buy time by exploiting the otherwise defensible NBER methodology. They hope this will insulate the administration from the electoral response in the event of a downturn.”
Magnus again targeted the administration on Twitter on Saturday, accusing the White House and the media of hypocrisy.
“Recession. N. 1. Two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth when the media hates the mainstream. 2. A vague, blanket, ill-defined condition that you are not allowed to talk about until the National Bureau of Economic Research makes a decision a year from now, provided you love the media.” Chief,” he wrote sarcastically.
Nearly 8 in 10 Americans describe the US economy as poor and about 7 in 10 reject Biden’s economic leadership, according to a June survey by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.