Social media accounts posting about positive experiences working at Amazon are fake.
Twitter has suspended at least one account from a social media user (@AmazonFCDarla) who was claiming to be a very satisfied Amazon employee. Prior to the suspension, the account went viral and many on Twitter who may or may not have known the account was fake, were referring to her or tagging the account in conversations.
Misbar has discovered that the recent fake social media activity related to Amazon has its roots in Alabama, where votes are being counted to determine if the first ever Amazon union in the U.S. is formed. Workers at the fulfillment center near Birmingham, Alabama, have been voting since late February on whether to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The election has drawn nationwide attention because it could result in Amazon's first unionized facility in the U.S. according to Politico.com.
Social media has been a part of the unionizing process in at least three ways: through posts (both negative and positive) of actual Amazon employees; politicians taking on Amazon, and by the creation of fake social media accounts weighing in on the labor issues.
One fake social media account, appearing to be run by a woman named Darla, was admittedly created by a comedian, Robby Appleton, as an internet prank according to the DailyDot.com. Appleton had been following the recent activity on Twitter related to the vote, and that’s when the idea came: Appleton could easily poke fun at the company by posing as an overzealous Amazon employee on Twitter. “I thought maybe I could make an account and pretend to be an absolute sycophant for Amazon, for a little fun over the weekend,” Appleton told the Daily Dot. “I expected maybe a couple dozen people might see it eventually.” However, Appleton’s fake account, @AmazonFCDarla, went viral and people began weighing in and including Darla in their conversations.
According to BBC.com, some of the fake Amazon accounts have already been suspended by Twitter. Accounts which impersonate or falsely claim to be affiliated with a company, can be temporarily suspended or removed according to Twitter rules. More fake accounts are most likely going to appear as a way to join in the Amazon labor conversation. And, according to Gizmodo.com, it’s extremely difficult to tell trolls from authentic accounts these days.
Since at least one account was fake, but was created by a comedian rather than by Amazon higher-ups, we rate this claim as commotion.