Report: Amazon Trained Social Media Propaganda Army on How to Defend Jeff Bezos and Attack Critics

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, laughs as he speaks at a Washington, DC, event in September 2018. (Cliff Owen/AP Photo)
Cliff Owen/AP Photo

Leaked internal documents reveal that Amazon “ambassadors,” a social media propaganda force, were trained to defend the company and Jeff Bezos along with targeting Bernie Sanders under a program codenamed “Veritas.”

The Intercept reports that Amazon’s army of employees defending the company across social media was conceived under an internal project codenamed “Veritas,” which aimed to train and dispatch select employees to social media to fight for the company.

Recently attention has been brought to the ambassadors as they responded to waves of online criticism for the company’s treatment of workers ahead of a union drive at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

The Intercept reports:

Anticipating criticisms of worker conditions at their fulfillment centers in particular, Amazon designed Veritas to train fulfillment center workers chosen for their “great sense of humor” to confront critics — including policymakers — on Twitter in a “blunt” manner. The document, produced as part of the pilot program in 2018 and marked “Amazon.com Confidential,” also includes examples of how its ambassadors can snarkily respond to criticisms of the company and its CEO. Several examples involve Sen. Bernie Sanders, a longtime critic of the $1 trillion firm who has been targeted by it in recent days. It also provides examples of how to defend Bezos.

“To address speculation and false assertions in social media and online forums about the quality of the FC [Fulfillment Center] associate experience, we are creating a new social team staffed with active, tenured FC employees, who will be empowered to respond in a polite—but blunt—way to every untruth,” the project description reads. “FC Ambassadors (‘FCA’) will respond to all posts and comments from customers, influencers (including policymakers), and media questioning the FC associate experience.”

Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokesperson, said via email: “FC Ambassadors are employees who work in our fulfillment centers and choose to share their personal experience — the FC ambassador program helps show what it’s actually like inside our fulfillment centers, along with the public tours we provide.”

Amazon admitted in 2018 that the ambassadors were employees paid to “honestly share the facts,” about working at the company’s warehouses. Many Twitter users initially accused the accounts of being “bots” due to their almost identical account bios and name formats, but this format was specifically mandated by Amazon according to internal documents. The document states: “We could also add an emoji to the username to give personality, for example a small box emoji.”

The official “Amazon News” media relation Twitter account recently made headlines when it pushed back against well-documented allegations that Amazon workers have been forced to urinate in bottles due to the company’s strict working schedules. Breitbart News has reported extensively on this topic and the response to Amazon’s tweet.

Read more at the Intercept here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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