Amazon’s plan to have warehouse workers defend it backfired beautifully (updated)

Twitter users are making memes out of the dystopian 'Amazon FC Ambassador' Twitter accounts, one of the strangest PR astroturfing campaigns in recent memory.

Aug 16, 2019, 6:15 pm*

Internet Culture

Brenden Gallagher 

Brenden Gallagher

amazon fulfillment center twitter meme

VDB Photos/Shutterstock.com

Amazon’s “FC Ambassador” Twitter accounts have hilariously backfired.

On Wednesday, the internet took notice when Amazon employee-run accounts labeled “FC ambassadors” (“FC” stands for fulfillment center) swarmed Twitter with kind words about their corporate overlord.

Amazon has faced criticism for the working conditions in its fulfillment centers for years. In 2018, the company launched an ambassador program for actual Amazon employees to tell the world just how good they have it, despite the many reports to the contrary. This week, the efforts of the project went viral, when a horde of accounts deflecting criticism of tech giant began posting aggressively.

Open-source investigation site Bellingcat estimates that there are 53 accounts tied to the Amazon Ambassador program. These accounts appear to be administered by Amazon through a corporate social media software called Sprinklr, and workers cycle through them. This can have a confusing effect–including leading to tweets from an account called @AmazonFCRaphael but from a woman identifying herself as Michelle.

https://twitter.com/AmazonFCRafael/status/1032040982282493952

 

Update 6:16pm CT, Aug. 16An Amazon spokesperson told the Daily Dot that its FC ambassadors are real employees who work in its fulfillment centers.

“It’s important that we do a good job educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers, and the FC ambassador program is a big part of that along with the FC tours we provide. This year alone, more than 100,000 guests have come to see for themselves what it’s like to work inside one of our FCs. If you haven’t visited, I recommend it,” the spokesperson wrote in an email statement.

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H/T BuzzFeed News

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*First Published: Aug 16, 2019, 2:06 pm