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29 Mar, 2021 18:26

‘Risking the brand’: Amazon engineer reportedly flagged company's ‘unnecessarily antagonistic’ viral tweets as potential hack

‘Risking the brand’: Amazon engineer reportedly flagged company's ‘unnecessarily antagonistic’ viral tweets as potential hack

An Amazon security engineer is reported to have believed that one of the company's official Twitter accounts had been hacked after it made “unnecessarily antagonistic” posts attacking Democratic Party politicians and critics.

Company documents obtained by the Intercept show an internal support ticket in which an engineer points out that the unusually combative tweets – which went viral and made headlines last week – “do not match” the content typically posted on the account, raising suspicions of a hack.

The employee noted that the tweet in question lacked the expected “quality careful wording.”

“These tweets are unnecessarily antagonistic (risking Amazon's brand) and may be a result of unauthorized access by someone with access to the account's credentials,” the engineer continued. 

Indeed, Amazon’s official ‘Amazon News’ account went to all-out war with some other high profile accounts last week in response to criticism of the company.

Following a tweet by Democratic Representative Mark Pocan that accused Amazon of making its workers “urinate in water bottles,” the company shot back: “You don't really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.” 

Social media users accused the company of “gaslighting” and pointed to several sources claiming that warehouse workers and drivers do urinate in bottles to keep up with their work targets.

Also on rt.com Amazon accused of ‘gaslighting’ after insisting reports of employees forced to urinate in bottles ‘not true’

Just a few days later, the Amazon News account also launched into a verbal war with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren after they tweeted that the company should pay higher taxes and allow employees to form unions.

Another internal correspondence document provided to the Intercept said the tweets were “not a technical issue,” rather they were an “ongoing PR issue” and the “PR leadership are aware of it.” Some employees told the website that the behavior of the Twitter account in question is “embarrassing.”

According to Recode, which first mentioned the existence of the support ticket last week, the ticket was "closed without action.”

While many social media users called the Amazon posts unprofessional, the company did receive support from libertarians and Republicans who oppose a minimum wage and support low taxes.

Also on rt.com ‘Trumpification of Big Tech’: Amazon fires back at Elizabeth Warren suggesting they should be broken up