Aric Toler, Bellingcat:
On August 14, a Twitter thread that included a small army of “Amazon FC Ambassadors” went viral, bringing to light Amazon’s year-long social media brand ambassador program.
Last year, Amazon rolled out a program where employees at these fulfillment centers (warehouses) are able to also work as brand ambassadors to describe their experiences working at Amazon. A number of media outlets reported on this new program last year after the first wave of Ambassadors sent out bizarre tweets promoting Amazon’s workplace conditions.
Per the 2018 reports, these Ambassadors were given “an extra paid day off and a [$50] gift card” for their efforts in volunteering to defend Amazon from their online detractors.
If employees want to defend their employer against criticism — online or offline, I don’t care — that’s their jam. But they shouldn’t be paid to be a public relations prop when they’re clearly not an official representative. This is a dismal practice that I hope does not spread.