Amazon is paying a group of Warehouse employees in the US to enthusiastically defend the retailer on Twitter, and its "creeping" customers out.
Around 16 accounts on Twitter have been found to belong to Amazon warehouse staff describing themselves as 'fulfilment centre (FC) ambassadors'. Their main job appears to be responding to criticism of the company's working practices online.
We're here just to shine light on what its like to work at an Amazon FC through the eyes of an CURRENT employee.
Everything we say is our own opinion.
— Jeremy - Amazon FC Ambassador (@AmazonFCJeremy) August 24, 2018
Amazon confirmed the accounts were run by real people, not bots.
"The most important thing is that they've been here long enough to honestly share the facts based on personal experience," a spokesman for the business told the BBC.
"It's important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfilment centres, and the FC ambassador program is a big part of that," they added.
Most of the accounts carry similar branding and a link to an Amazon warehouse tour service, which offers those interested in working for the e-commerce giant a chance to 'come and see the magic that happens' in its fulfillment centers on the first and third Tuesday of each month.
Not everyone thinks it's a good idea though.
The move from Amazon has prompted criticism online, with some Twitter users deriding it as "creepy" and even "dystopian". In turn, this has provoked some of the representatives to defend the initiative.
WTH: “Amazon has developed an unnerving, Stepford-like presence on Twitter in the form of several accounts of definitely real on-the-floor workers who regurgitate talking points and assure the world that all is right in the company’s infamously punishing warehouse jobs.” https://t.co/XukxYwxeDY — Aleyda Solis (@aleyda) August 24, 2018
Widespread reporting about the ambassadors' existence has sent them into overdrive as they take the time to respond to individual news stories about their function, creating a Twitter loop of sorts.
A new group of Amazon employees are sharing positive comments about working in the company's warehouses on social media. https://t.co/A1089sgQdW
It appears to represent a new front in Amazon’s effort to portray itself as a generous employer. (Story by @mattmday)
— Seattle Times Biz (@seatimesbiz) August 24, 2018
Amazon's warehouse conditions have been subject to many negative headlines over the years – including reports staff have been left to suffer after injury
In the UK, an uncover author claimed to have witnessed staff urinate in bottles for fear they would be punished if they took a break.