Tags: Media Bias | amazon | bernie sanders | elizabeth warren | jeff bezos

Bezos Reportedly Behind Amazon's Twitter War With Bernie, Warren

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Monday, 29 March 2021 06:20 PM

Online retail giant Amazon's escalation of a Twitter tiff with progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was reportedly ordered by CEO Jeff Bezos.

According to Vox's Recode, which chronicled the heated micro blogging back-and-forth, the war of tweets went up a few notches last week, with Amazon targeting both senators and doling out a surprising dollop of snark, especially for a verified corporate account.

"It turns out that Amazon leaders were following a broad mandate from the very top of the company: Fight back," Vox reporter Jason Del Rey wrote.

Bezos expressed dissatisfaction in recent weeks that company officials were not more aggressive in pushing back at criticism the retailing giant's CEO considered wrong or misleading, Del Rey reported.

Soon after, corporate tweets suddenly got a lot snarkier.

The news outlet noted Bezos and other Amazon leaders are currently awaiting a big union vote at a Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse. Results are expected this week. But if a majority vote to unionize, it could set off a chain reaction at other Amazon facilities — potentially forcing the mega-store to overhaul management of frontline U.S. workers, Vox reported.

According to Vox, the last Amazon vote on unionizing was in 2014 at a Delaware warehouse. On that occasion, a smaller number of workers were involved — and the union got a thumbs-down.

In Alabama, nearly 6,000 workers are eligible to vote.

Sanders. announcement of a plan to visit Alabama got a Twitter thread from Amazon executive Dave Clark rolling.

Clark’s account posted last Wednesday:

"I welcome @SenSanders to Birmingham and appreciate his push for a progressive workplace. I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that's not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace."

A few hours later, the official "Amazon News" media relations Twitter account, with more than 170,000 followers, snapped at Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., who had questioned Clark's "progressive workplace" assertion by alluding to stories of Amazon's workplace being so demanding that workers have to "urinate in water bottles."

"You don't really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?" the official Amazon News account tweeted. "If that were true, nobody would work for us."

And after a back-and-forth with Warren that began with her criticizing the company's tax payments, the same Amazon account "quote-tweeted" Warren with this message: "This is extraordinary and revealing. One of the most powerful politicians in the United States just said she's going to break up an American company so that they can't criticize her anymore."

But the blitz might have backfired, Del Rey reported.

"Media outlets and industry observers have been focused on the rarity and judgment of a trillion-dollar company sparring with powerful lawmakers on Twitter," he wrote.

Inside Amazon, rank-and-file employees were also perplexed by the company's Twitter approach, Del Rey reported.

"Suspicious activity on @amazonnews Twitter account," was the title of one internal support ticket — called a trouble ticket inside the company — filed by an Amazon security engineer last week, Del Rey reported, citing a screenshot he viewed.

"Over the past two days, there have been two threads by @amazonnews in response to comments made by US Government officials that have received considerable attention," the ticket reads. "The tweets in question do not match the usual content posted by this account."

The tweets, according to the security engineer, "are unnecessarily antagonistic (risking Amazon's brand) and may be a result of unauthorized access."

The support ticket was closed without action, an unnamed source told Del Rey.

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Online retail giant Amazon's escalation of a Twitter tiff with progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was reportedly ordered by CEO Jeff Bezos.
amazon, bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, jeff bezos
Monday, 29 March 2021 06:20 PM
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