Amazon has confirmed it’s paying employees to say good things about working for the company on Twitter in an effort to combat bad press about work conditions in its warehouses.
Several Twitter users discovered the accounts, which are almost identical looking except for the picture, and presumed they were bots before Amazon confirmed they were real employees.
This week Amazon started creating astroturf accounts that search & reply to tweets criticizing Amazon's working conditions, a normal & regular thing companies do. pic.twitter.com/jons5ci3NL
— regular gem (@Choplogik) August 23, 2018
So Amaz*n has set up an army of bot accounts, allegedly from workers at various fulfillment centers, whose sole purpose is to jump on tweets critical of their benevolent overlord with the same stale cant about great pay & benefits pic.twitter.com/Z7lJWUb7A0
— Minnesota’s #1 Station For Classic Rock 🎸 (@bornwithatail_) August 23, 2018
“FC ambassadors are employees who have experience working in our fulfillment centers. The most important thing is that they’ve been here long enough to honestly share the facts based on personal experience,” claimed an Amazon spokesman. “It’s important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers, and the FC ambassador program is a big part of that along with the fulfillment center tours we provide.”
According to Business Insider, the accounts mostly “tweet positive things about Amazon’s warehouse working conditions,” pay, and benefits in an attempt to change public opinion about the company.
Did you know that Amazon pays warehouse workers 30% more than other retailers? I feel proud to work for Amazon – they've taken good care of me. Much better than some of my previous employers.
— Shaye – Amazon FC Ambassador 📦 (@AmazonFCShaye) August 21, 2018
Working conditions at my JAX2 FC are great. Temp controlled warehouse, safety is the priority and we just want to get your packages out on time.
— Leo – Amazon FC Ambassador 📦 (@AmazonFCLeo) August 23, 2018
Hello! Amazon does pay their employees minimum wage – any less would be illegal Ƕ One thing that often gets overlooked are the employee benefits that Amazon provides for all employees – Health insurance, 401K, career/financial counseling.
— Phil – Amazon FC Ambassador 📦 (@AmazonFCPhil) August 10, 2018
Last year, it was reported that Amazon warehouse employees were being worked to exhaustion, with some falling asleep on the job, urinating into bottles and trashcans for fear of being sanctioned for bathroom breaks, and living in the warehouse parking lot.
The accounts might be doing more damage than good, however, with several users calling the accounts “creepy” after interacting with them.
“Argh this is kinda creepy,” declared one user. “Isn’t it kind of Orwellian to have people searching for Amazon work conditions to try and change the public opinion about it?”
This is very creepy
— Mikee (@Lambman24) August 23, 2018
This year, Amazon faced further controversy after the company was granted a patent for a wristband which would track employee movements and tell them where to go.