Amazon Twitter Army handpicked for “Sense of Humor”

Amazon Twitter Army handpicked for

Amazon’s little Twitter army of “Ambassadors” was quietly crafted in 2018 under the code name “Veritas,” which aimed to train and send selected employees into the social media trenches to defend Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, according to an internal description of the program obtained exclusively by Interception.
Amazon ambassadors gained attention this week as they responded to a wave of online criticism for the company’s treatment of workers amid a union campaign at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama .

Anticipating criticism of workers’ conditions in their particular distribution centers, Amazon designed Veritas to train workers in distribution centers chosen for their “great sense of humor” to confront criticism – including policy makers – on Twitter. in a “direct” way. The document, produced as part of the pilot program in 2018 and marked “ Confidential,” also includes examples of how its ambassadors can slyly respond to criticism of the company and its CEO. Several examples involve Senator Bernie Sanders, a longtime critic of the $ 1 trillion company that has been targeted by her in recent days. He also provides examples of how to defend Bezos.

“To respond to speculation and false claims in social media and online forums about the quality of the FC [Fulfillment Center] As an associate, we are creating a new social team made up of active and permanent FC employees, who will be empowered to respond in a polite – but direct – manner to every lie, ”the project description reads. “FC Ambassadors (‘FCA’) will respond to all messages and comments from clients, influencers (including decision makers) and the media that question the experience of FC associates.”

Do you work for Amazon? Text advice to Ken Klippenstein via Signal at 202-510-1268.
Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, said via email: “FC Ambassadors are employees who work in our fulfillment centers and choose to share their personal experiences – the FC Ambassador program helps show what it actually looks like in our distribution centers, as well as the public tours. we provide. ”

In 2018, Amazon admitted that Ambassadors were employees paid to “honestly share the facts” about what it’s like to work in its fulfillment centers. Many Twitter users initially believed that Ambassadors were automated “bot” accounts due to the almost identical format of their account’s bios, all of which sported the Amazon smile logo and began with the pseudonym “@AmazonFC”. But this format was specifically mandated by Amazon, shows the document from The Intercept. “We could also add an emoji to the username to give personality, such as a small emoji box,” the document suggests.

Meaning. Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., And Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., Tweeted last week about the company’s treatment of workers and its corporate practices. Amazon’s PR account then sent mocking responses to lawmakers, asking Pocan, “You don’t really believe in the wee in bottles thing, do you?” As The Intercept reported the next day, many Amazon delivery drivers were indeed forced to relieve themselves in bottles and bags in order to meet demanding quotas – and the company knew it.

Amazon also responded to Warren and Sanders, telling Sanders, “I often say that we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but it’s not quite fair because we actually offer a progressive workplace.” The tweets angered many members of the company, some of whom feared the account had been hacked, as The Intercept reported.

Sanders, who confronted the company about its work practices and recently visited workers in Alabama, is mentioned several times in the 2018 document. In one instance, the document refers to a video interview that Sanders tweeted: “Bernie Sanders interviewing Seth King on day one. Seth describes feeling so depressed working at Amazon to kill himself. ”

An ambassador, playing a role, then replies: “@SenSanders This job has never made me feel bad personally. If you have a job that makes you feel bad, you can go.

At another point, Sanders is described as having “tweeted about Jeff Bezos’ wealth.” The ambassador then replies: “Everyone should be able to benefit from the money they have earned / saved. It’s theirs. They should be able to do whatever they want with it. This includes Jeff Bezos. ”

Among the principles of the program is the promise not to deliver misleading or false messages, but to urge ambassadors to “Speak Your Truth”. But there are certain topics that are forbidden to discuss. The document orders employees not to respond to “contacts regarding the right to organize” – one of only three cases in which they are told not to respond. An example to ignore is provided: “@Amazon lets your FC employees unionize if you have nothing to hide. ”

Ambassadors have also been told not to respond to media inquiries and complex requests where public relations approval is required. A written example of a tweet to ignore mentions Amazon’s advertising relationship with far-right outlet Breitbart: “@Amazon why are you still advertising on breitbart ?! Between that and barely paying your employees, I’m willing to stop shopping with you. ”

The document also clarifies that ambassadors are far from a representative sample of workers, noting that “new hires can be very passionate and effective,” according to their review of a small pilot group. New hires who haven’t had to pee bottles yet, maybe.


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