‘Fake' accounts claiming to be Amazon workers have been praising their working conditions on Twitter.
Votes are currently being counted in Alabama to decide whether Amazon warehouse workers will form a union.
But last night, a series of anti-union tweets were sent from accounts claiming to be staff.
Twitter has now suspended many of the accounts, and Amazon has confirmed at least one is fake.
Most of the accounts were made just a few days ago, often with only a few tweets, all related to Amazon.
“What bothers me most about unions is there’s no ability to opt out of dues,” one user under the handle @AmazonFCDarla tweeted, despite a state law in Alabama which prevents this.
“Amazon takes great care of me,” she added.
This is so great. Remember those extremely real Amazon workers who were tweeting nice things about working there? Well Leo is now Ciera, Michelle is now Sarah, Rick is now James, etc. pic.twitter.com/q5LgITjMQ4— Karen Weise (@KYWeise) January 30, 2019
Another account - which later changed its profile picture after it was revealed to be fake - said: “Unions are good for some companies, but I don’t want to have to shell out hundreds a month just for lawyers!”
Amazon didn’t even really try with this one lol pic.twitter.com/Q9dyTzKqns— Tim Sullivan 🐋 (@timjsully) March 29, 2021
Many of the accounts involved used the handle @AmazonFC followed by a first name.
Amazon has previously used this handle for its so-called Amazon Ambassadors - real employees who are paid by the firm to promote and defend it on Twitter.
An Amazon spokesperson told the BBC that Darla was not an official Ambassador, but has not responded to the BBC’s request for clarification on several other accounts.
“It appears that this is a fake account that violates Twitter’s terms,” the spokesperson said. “We’ve asked Twitter to investigate and take appropriate action.”
Several of the high-profile accounts have been suspended by Twitter. It told the BBC that Amazon Ambassadors are subject to Twitter's rules on spam and platform manipulation.
Accounts which impersonate or falsely claim to be affiliated with a company, can be temporarily suspended or removed.
Any parody account should have a disclaimer in its Twitter bio, the company added.
It is unclear whether the accounts are real employees, bots or trolls pretending to be Amazon Ambassadors.
Amazon hits back
Amazon’s executives and its official accounts have been tweeting in defence of the company in recent days, after negative reports of poor working conditions, including staff having to urinate in bottles.
1/2 You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us. The truth is that we have over a million incredible employees around the world who are proud of what they do, and have great wages and health care from day one.— Amazon News (@amazonnews) March 25, 2021
The official Amazon News account tweeted: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.
“The truth is that we have over a million incredible employees around the world who are proud of what they do, and have great wages and health care from day one.”
1/3 You make the tax laws @SenWarren; we just follow them. If you don’t like the laws you’ve created, by all means, change them. Here are the facts: Amazon has paid billions of dollars in corporate taxes over the past few years alone.— Amazon News (@amazonnews) March 26, 2021
In response to a tweet by US Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren, which accused Amazon of “exploiting loopholes and tax havens”, the account said:
“You make the tax laws, we just follow them. If you don’t like the laws you’ve created, by all means change them.
“Here are the facts: Amazon has paid billions of dollars in corporate taxes over the past few years alone.”