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Amazon ends program that paid employees to praise company on social media

Amazon has quietly ended a program that paid employees to post nice things about the company on social media. The three year-old program was meant to counter negative perceptions about the working conditions at its massive warehouses, where workers had complained about the high speeds at which they were expected to work and the injuries they were sustaining as a result. But senior Amazon executives nixed the payment-for-reviews program in December because it had been ineffective and had, in fact, backfired — causing more negative publicity, according to a Financial Times report that cites anonymous sources. The program relied on “handpicked workers,” according to the report, who would tweet rebuttals to statements made by politicians, labor rights officials and any other critics of the company, according to the report. A typical post might say that the employee “feels proud to work for Amazon” or that Amazon has “taken good care of me” or refute a frequent criticism that employees aren’t given enough time to take toilet breaks. According to another report last year from The Intercept, so called fulfillment ambassadors received training on how to address allegations with responses including “no, that’s not right. I worked in an Amazon FC for over four years and never saw anyone urinate in a bottle.” see also It’s not clear how many ambassadors Amazon paid as part of this program, FT reported, with some news outlets estimating that 50 had been recruited in 2019. The company has scrubbed any evidence that the program even existed, according to the publication. “The ambassador program was always a laughable attempt to minimise the abuses unfolding inside Amazon warehouses,” Sheheryar Kaoosji of the non-profit Warehouse Worker Resource Center told FT. Amazon did not immediately respond for comment.

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