During a very contentious union election at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, a swarm of “fake” Twitter accounts have appeared to support Amazon and oppose criticism of the company’s working conditions.
Numerous account names begin with “AmazonFC,” followed by a first name and a warehouse identifier. The accounts often react to Amazon’s Twitter criticism, denying concerns and accusations about robots’ terrible working conditions and high injury rates.
One account, which has since been banned, said, “Unions are wonderful for some industries, but I refuse to pay hundreds of dollars a month simply for attorneys!”
Similar accounts have been utilised in the past, such as in 2018 and 2019, when the firm’s criticism went viral. Several Amazon Twitter accounts mentioned in 2018 and 2019 allegations are no longer operational. Others have changed their names. It was discovered that several of the accounts used stock photographs as their profile images.
Some Amazon workers serve as “ambassadors,” sharing their favourable workplace experiences with others. Numerous recent tweets purporting to be from the company’s ambassadors have been proved to be fictitious.
“Many of them seem to be bogus accounts that violate Twitter’s terms of service, as opposed to genuine Amazon FC Ambassadors.” Amazon has requested Twitter to investigate and take necessary action, according to a company spokeswoman.
The spokesperson did not indicate how many Twitter accounts are controlled by genuine Amazon ambassadors and how many are still active and handled by Amazon employees serving as public relations ambassadors.
Amazon has previously declined to provide information on these accounts, including how these workers are compensated for serving in these roles on social media. However, previous reports have indicated that these workers perform social media work rather than warehouse work and receive perks such as free gift cards or days off.
The website Bellingcat, which specialises in investigative journalism, has created a list of at least 56 Amazon FC Ambassador Twitter accounts.
Numerous recently active Twitter accounts, including @AmazonFCDarla and @AmazonFCLulu, have been deleted by Twitter. Some Twitter users replied by creating fake accounts that ridiculed Amazon’s robotic defenses and uniform style.
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In recent years, Amazon’s public relations practices have been scrutinised, particularly when Amazon CEO Dave Clark and the Amazon News Twitter account publicly reprimanded Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Representative Mark Pocan.
Emails acquired by The Intercept indicated that Amazon engineers marked the tweets as “unnecessarily aggressive (risking Amazon’s brand)” due to suspicions that the account had been compromised.
According to further leaked documents, Amazon management complained about delivery drivers leaving bottles of urine and bags of feces in trucks after the company’s public relations account rejected allegations that employees urinated in bottles.
According to NBC News, the National Labor Relations Board is now deciding whether to aggregate several worker complaints filed over the last year claiming Amazon’s interference with their efforts to create or organise a union.
Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president for policy and communications and a former Obama administration official, weighed in on the reaction to prominent detractors such as Bernie Sanders on March 30.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, reportedly feared that other Amazon executives weren’t hitting back hard enough on their competitors, prompting the recent expansion of Amazon’s public relations team and executives who agitate opponents.
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