An Amazon engineer reportedly raised red flags internally about Amazon’s tweets picking fights with lawmakers, calling them suspicious and ‘unnecessarily antagonistic’

Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
  • An Amazon engineer raised red flags internally about Amazon’s tweets last week, Recode reports.
  • Amazon and its executives tweeted at multiple lawmakers, strongly criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders.
  • it was reportedly at the urging of CEO Jeff Bezos, who wanted leaders to push back against critics.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon stirred up controversy last week with its bold tweets to US lawmakers. Those missives were so unusual, even one of Amazon’s employees was concerned.

According to a new report from Recode’s Jason Del Rey, Amazon’s wild week on Twitter worried one of its engineers, who raised red flags internally. The engineer submitted a support ticket – a system for highlighting issues and asking for help from a company’s IT department – titled “Suspicious activity on @amazonnews Twitter account.” Recode reports.

A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the employee’s reaction.

The engineer was referring to a Twitter war that began when Sen. Bernie Sanders decided to visit Alabama amid a union vote at Amazon’s Bessemer fulfillment center. In response to Sanders’ visit, Dave Clark, CEO of worldwide consumer at Amazon, issued a fiery statement, which was shared with Insider and then tweeted out by Clark.

-Dave Clark (@davehclark) March 24, 2021

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan later quote-tweeted Clark and referenced reports of Amazon workers urinating in bottles, to which Amazon’s official news account responded, “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?”

-Amazon News (@amazonnews) March 25, 2021

The company also tweeted directly at Sanders and posted several tweets in response to Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Amazon’s tweets inspired backlash from several corners of the internet, particularly among Amazon delivery drivers, several of whom told Insider that they had resorted to peeing in bottles during their shifts because finding a bathroom would take too long. One female driver said she purchased a female urinal system that she brings to work.

Drivers told Insider they had also pooped in bags and changed menstrual pads in the back of the delivery truck due to the time constraints they felt during a workday.

According to Recode, the Amazon engineer who reported the tweets internally said that they “do not match the usual content posted by this account” and “are unnecessarily antagonistic (risking Amazon’s brand) and may be a result of unauthorized access.” The support ticket reportedly was later closed and no action was taken.

The assertive tweets from Amazon’s account were at the request of CEO Jeff Bezos, Recode reports. Bezos reportedly told executives at Amazon that the company wasn’t doing enough to fight back against criticism he felt was inaccurate.