Amazon recruited an army of Twitter trolls calling it ‘Veritas’ to target critics like Bernie Sanders and defend Jeff Bezos
- The ‘army’ is made up of ambassadors who go online to defend the company
- It started in 2018, but has become especially relevant amid 6,000 Amazon employees in Alabama voting on whether to form a union or not
- The ambassadors defend the warehouse conditions and troll Amazon’s critics
- Training documents show that they are told to speak out ‘bluntly’ if necessary
Amazon recruited a Twitter army code-named ‘Veritas’ whose members were chosen for their’ sense of humor ‘- and their job was to defend Jeff Bezos’ reputation online.
The military was recruited in 2018, but re-emerged this week when workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Alabama voted whether or not to form a union amid complaints about working conditions.
On Twitter, the military defended working conditions and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, even going after the company’s biggest critics like Bernie Sanders, the liberal Vermont senator.
They were specifically told to confront people on Twitter in a ‘blunt’ way, according to an internal document about their training obtained by The Intercept
The document was marked ‘Amazon.com confidential’ and titled ‘Global Social CS Program Management. ‘
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A confidential training memo describes Amazon’s fulfillment center ambassador program code-named Veritas. It shows examples of the Twitter accounts the ambassador uses to defend the company online
The ambassadors have handles that start and follow AmazonFC with their name. They go online to share what they think are good experiences from their time at work
Another Amazon FC account where the employee defended how long they needed for lunch this week
It read: ‘To address speculation and false claims in social media and online forums about the quality of the FC [Fulfillment Center] associate experience, we will create a new social team of active, permanent FC staff, who will be able to respond to any falsehood in a polite but blunt manner, ”the project description reads. “FC Ambassadors (‘FCA’) will respond to all posts and comments from customers, influencers (including policymakers) and media that question the experience of FC employees.”
The purpose of today’s meeting is to align with the launch plan for the FC Ambassadors program. FC (fulfillment center) Ambassador Program principles (unless you know better …)
1. Tell your truth: We encourage our employees to share experiences about their time at Amazon. We will [sic] do not offer misleading or false messages to “spin” which may be an uncomfortable situation for the company.
2. Maintaining Customer Trust: Our number one priority is to continue to earn our customers’ trust by educating them about what things are really like within Amazon FC’s.
Amazon’s corporate communications department hit back on rep Mark Pocan last week after criticizing the company
The ambassadors also defend Amazon founder Jeff Bezos online
3. Respect: We vigilantly refute falsehoods about the Amazon work experience.
“We may be direct, even blunt, but we will always be respectful, even to our worst critics.”
Veritas’ ‘ambassadors’ and the Amazon PR account have laughed at critics like Bernie Sanders online.
In a response, the Amazon PR account wrote, “I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace.”
Sanders was also mentioned in the document in role-playing scenarios where an ambassador replied to a comment he made about Bezos’s exorbitant wealth: ‘Everyone should be able to enjoy the money they have earned / saved. It’s theirs. They should be able to do whatever they want with it. That also applies to Jeff Bezos. ‘
Details of the ‘ambassador’ program emerged this week amid growing outrage over the conditions Amazon employees say they are facing.
Some delivery drivers claim they are forced to urinate or defecate in bags and bottles to avoid taking breaks because they say they are under tremendous pressure to deliver on time.
Among those who have spoken out against the company is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said workers should be able to form a union.
Nearly 6,000 Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer decide whether to form a union – the biggest pressure on the job market in the online shopping giant’s history.