Amazon pays workers for Internet propaganda

This 11 July 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Amazon Worker Told to Take Ibuprofen [a painkiller, not medicine] After Breaking Foot

Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, says he is “very proud” of the working conditions at Amazon. Maybe he should listen to the story of this former Amazon worker who, after breaking her foot on the job, was told to take ibuprofen and finish her shift or go home with unpaid time.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Amazon pays employees for positive tweets about the corporation

Web giant Amazon pays employees of its distribution centers in the USA to spread positive messages on social media. The “ambassadors” are sent to the Internet with newly created Twitter and Facebook accounts. …

… Earlier the web giant came into the news negatively because the working conditions in the distribution centers are said to be bad. The work pressure was high, there was dirt and there was said to be a bad atmosphere. …

Marketing experts tell the NOS they doubt whether deploying distribution center ambassadors is a good move. In theory, the use of employees helps to improve the image, says Loes Janssen, marketing professor at Tilburg University. “Because consumers will usually find this kind of ‘inside information from the shop floor’ more reliable and convincing”, she says. “But as soon as you get to know that the ambassadors are ‘bribed’ and probably do not tweet because of any intrinsic motivation, it will arouse suspicion.”

In the Netherlands, employees have not been asked yet on a large scale to distribute positive messages about the company they work for, marketing experts tell the NOS. But this ’employer advocacy’ is on the rise, says Martin Loman, marketing strategist at the Social Factory.

What will happen to workers refusing to mass produce rose-coloured items for the Internet? Or, even worse, from the viewpoint of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, put critical, non-bribed messages about the situation of Amazon workers on the Internet? Will their wages be deducted, will they be punished otherwise, will they be sacked?

So, there is enough money at Amazon to make their boss Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world. And enough money to bribe employees to mass produce rose-coloured Internet messages. Wouldn’t it be better to spend that money to pay workers the living wage so they don’t have to become homeless like now? And improve the situation at Amazon so that not so many workers get injured, like now?

What next in the ’employer advocacy’ business? CIA employees inundating the Internet with messages that the CIA never tortures? Bayer-Monsanto employees inundating the Internet with messages that their Roundup weed killer does not kill any bees or monarch butterflies or other animals, and never gives humans cancer?

It all reminds me of the Scientology Church which instructed its devotees to make boilerplate web sites claiming everything was hunky dory in Scientology; to counter criticism on the Internet of Scientology by, eg, ex-members.

9 thoughts on “Amazon pays workers for Internet propaganda

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