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Amazon's PR too aggressive for its own good

by on30 March 2021

Company's security feared its social media account had been hacked

Amazon's PR department was so obnoxious and arrogant when lobbying a lawmaker that the company's security team believed its social media account had been hacked.

When you have shedloads of cash, and the US political system is open to bribery, er lobbying, it seems that your PR team does not have to mince its words.

Amazon's public relations account sent a number of tweets taunting public officials, staffers were so concerned about the "unnecessarily antagonistic" tone that a security engineer filed a suspicious activity report, believing that the company's social media account had been hacked.

According to internal company documents obtained by The Intercept, a tweet, responding to Rep. Mark Pocan's criticism of Amazon labour practices, said: "You don't really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?"

The engineer wrote that the tweets were unnecessarily antagonistic - risking Amazon's brand - and may result from unauthorized access by someone with access to the account's credentials.

"The tweets in question do not match the usual content posted by this account, and doesn't seem to match the quality careful wording, and doesn't report the same source-label (the offending tweets all report 'Twitter Web App' instead of 'Sprinklr')."

According to two Amazon employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid professional reprisal and what would be a good kicking from Amazon PR, the report was filed on Friday.

An internal Amazon correspondence log provided to The Intercept said the tweets were "not a technical issue, got details from [redacted] that this is [an] ongoing PR issue and does not require any technical support. PR leadership are aware of it".

Last modified on 30 March 2021
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