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Bot or not? Amazon says its perky Twitter ambassadors are real

Bot or not? Amazon says its perky Twitter ambassadors are real
[Photo: Álvaro Ibáñez/Wikimedia Commons]

Amazon employees identified as “fulfillment center ambassadors” took to Twitter this week to praise the company, drawing mostly derision from other users of the social media platform. Responses predictably criticized the company’s labor practices, which have come under fire in recent years, and wondered whether the accounts were automated.

“FC ambassadors are employees who have experience working in our fulfillment centers,” a company spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Fast Company. “The most important thing is that they’ve been here long enough to honestly share the facts based on personal experience. It’s important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers, and the FC ambassador program is a big part of that along with the fulfillment center tours we provide. Those tours enable thousands of customers every year to come and see for themselves what it’s like to work inside one of our fulfillment centers.”

Ambassador Twitter accounts link to a site offering the warehouse tours. All the accounts seem to follow the same somewhat stilted formula, listing the employee’s first name followed by “- Amazon FC Ambassador” and a package emoji. They also feature an Amazon logo as Twitter background and a list of prior warehouse duties and hobbies in their Twitter bios. Some Twitter users added “Amazon FC Ambassador” to their Twitter names after the accounts received publicity from TechCrunch and other news sites.

The company didn’t respond to a Fast Company request for a full list of the ambassador accounts, and the accounts aren’t verified by Twitter, which makes it difficult to know for certain which accounts are genuine and which are parodies. The ambassador program seems to be in its early days, but so far seems surprisingly hamfisted for a company with Amazon’s size and overall level of sophistication.

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