Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) reportedly deployed an army of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) users to publicly defend itself, utilizing this army most recently to push back against claims of poor worker treatment. The online retailer has also been aggressively trying to keep workers at its Bessemer, Ala. warehouse from forming a union.
Amazon rolls out its Veritas program
The Intercept obtained an internal description of the program, code-named “Veritas,” which was established in 2018. It was originally intended to defend the company and CEO Jeff Bezos. Amazon’s ambassadors drew attention to themselves when they responded en masse to a flood of criticism for its treatment of workers.
Hey @amazon just wanna say that I’m ok with getting the garbage I order from you a lot later if it means your employees are able to take adequate breaks and work with dignity. Just sayin.
— Professor Cena (@badkindof3way) March 27, 2021
According to The Intercept, Amazon chose its ambassadors for their “great sense of humor.” The company tasked them with responding to critics, including policymakers on Twitter with “blunt” remarks.” The document obtained by the news outlet was produced for the 2018 pilot program and marked “Amazon.com Confidential.”
The project description also contains examples of snarky ways the employees can respond to critics of both Amazon and Bezos. Several examples involve Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has long criticized the online retailer and has been targeted by it recently. The document also offers examples of ways to defend Bezos.
Details on Amazon’s Veritas program
It states that the program is designed to “address speculation and false assertions in social media and online forums about the quality of the FC [fulfillment center] associate experience.” The ambassadors are “empowered to respond in a polite — but blunt — way to every untruth.” They were tasked with responding to all “posts and comments from customers, influencers (including policymakers), and media questioning the FC associate experience.”
Last week, Sens. Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Mark Pocan tweeted about Amazon’s treatment of its workers and corporate practices. The online retailer’s public relations replied to the lawmakers with remarks like, “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you.” The Intercept reported the next day that many Amazon delivery drivers had to relieve themselves in bottles and bags to meet the company’s demanding quotas.
Amazon is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.