Gizmodo: There’s Something Fishy About Amazon’s Anti-Union Twitter Army [Updated]

Gizmodo: There’s Something Fishy About Amazon’s Anti-Union Twitter Army [Updated]. “Have you noticed a strange army of Amazon employees on Twitter recently, claiming that Amazon doesn’t engage in union-busting and disputing stories that workers sometimes have to piss in bottles? Many Twitter users are wondering whether the people are even real. And while there’s some evidence these people could be real, at least one of their photos appear to be fake.”

New York Times: Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go.

New York Times: Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go.. “In the last year, Google eliminated fees for merchants and allowed sellers to list their wares in its search results for free. It is also trying to make it easier for small, independent shops to upload their inventory of products to appear in search results and buy ads on Google by teaming up with Shopify, which powers online stores for 1.7 million merchants who sell directly to consumers. But like Google’s many attempts during its two-decade quest to compete with Amazon, this one shows little sign of working.”

Big Tech, Big Cash: Washington’s New Power Players (Public Citizen)

Public Citizen: Big Tech, Big Cash: Washington’s New Power Players. “A report Public Citizen released in 2019 (covering up to the 2018 election cycle) detailed how Big Tech corporations have blanketed Capitol Hill with lobbyists and lavished members of Congress with campaign contributions. This is an update of that report, based on data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. Since the 2020 election cycle has ended, Public Citizen reevaluated Big Tech’s influence over the government by analyzing the tech companies’ lobbying spending and campaign contributions.”

Motherboard: Amazon Delivery Drivers Forced to Sign ‘Biometric Consent’ Form or Lose Job

Motherboard: Amazon Delivery Drivers Forced to Sign ‘Biometric Consent’ Form or Lose Job. “Amazon delivery drivers nationwide have to sign a ‘biometric consent’ form this week that grants the tech behemoth permission to use AI-powered cameras to access drivers’ location, movement, and biometric data. If the company’s delivery drivers, who number around 75,000 in the United States, refuse to sign these forms, they lose their jobs. The form requires drivers to agree to facial recognition and other biometric data collection within the trucks they drive.”

The Verge: FTC fines Amazon work-from-home scammer $2 million

The Verge: FTC fines Amazon work-from-home scammer $2 million. “Randon Morris and several companies he ran conducted robocalls to promote the fake work-from-home opportunities, the FTC said, and they promised people they contacted that they could earn hundreds of dollars a day. As part of the scheme, the companies falsely claimed to be affiliated with Amazon; one of the limited liability corporations (LLCs) was even named Amazon Affiliate Program, LLC.”

BuzzFeed News: Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A “Rabbit Hole” Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus

BuzzFeed News: Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A “Rabbit Hole” Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus. “Conspiracy theorist David Icke’s lies about COVID-19 caused Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Spotify to ban him. But on Amazon, Icke, who believes in the existence of lizard people, is recommended reading. Despite being filled with misinformation about the pandemic, Icke’s book The Answer at one point ranked 30th on Amazon.com’s bestseller list for Communication & Media Studies. Its popularity is partly thanks to the e-commerce giant’s powerful recommendation algorithms that suggest The Answer and other COVID conspiracy theory books to people searching for basic information about the coronavirus, according to new research shared exclusively with BuzzFeed News.”

The Verge: Amazon ordered to temporarily close facility near Toronto due to increase in COVID-19 cases

The Verge: Amazon ordered to temporarily close facility near Toronto due to increase in COVID-19 cases. “A public health authority has ordered Amazon to close one of its fulfillment centers in Canada for two weeks because of an uptick in the rate of COVID-19 infections at the facility. A public health investigation found that while the rate of COVID-19 infections has been decreasing in the area, the rate inside the Brampton facility, near Toronto, ‘has been increasing significantly.’”

Washington Post: Want to borrow that e-book from the library? Sorry, Amazon won’t let you.

Washington Post: Want to borrow that e-book from the library? Sorry, Amazon won’t let you.. “You probably think of Amazon as the largest online bookstore. Amazon helped make e-books popular with the Kindle, now the dominant e-reader…. Amazon is a beast with many tentacles: It’s got the store, the reading devices and, increasingly, the words that go on them. Librarians have been no match for the beast. When authors sign up with a publisher, it decides how to distribute their work. With other big publishers, selling e-books and audiobooks to libraries is part of the mix — that’s why you’re able to digitally check out bestsellers like Barack Obama’s ‘A Promised Land.’ Amazon is the only big publisher that flat-out blocks library digital collections. Search your local library’s website, and you won’t find recent e-books by Amazon authors Kaling, Dean Koontz or Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Nor will you find downloadable […]

The Verge: Twitch, owned by Amazon, pulls Amazon’s anti-union ads

The Verge: Twitch, owned by Amazon, pulls Amazon’s anti-union ads. “Twitch is removing the anti-union ads that its parent company, Amazon, was running on the platform. The ads showed Amazon employees talking about why they want to vote no on unionization and directed viewers to Amazon’s ‘DoItWithoutDues’ website. A Twitch spokesperson said the ads ‘should never have been allowed to run on [the] service,’ as they violate its political advertising policies.”

The Register: Amazon sues NY Attorney General in preemptive strike: Web giant faces claim it did not fully protect workers in COVID-19 pandemic

The Register: Amazon sues NY Attorney General in preemptive strike: Web giant faces claim it did not fully protect workers in COVID-19 pandemic. “Amazon on Friday sued New York Attorney General Letitia James to prevent her office from bringing legal action that would punish the behemoth computing biz for alleged worker health and safety violations. The lawsuit follows from a year of rancorous disputes with Amazon warehouse workers who claim the company hasn’t done enough to ensure their well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Hate Store: Amazon’s Self-Publishing Arm Is a Haven for White Supremacists (ProPublica)

ProPublica: The Hate Store: Amazon’s Self-Publishing Arm Is a Haven for White Supremacists. “‘There is a lot of extremist content on Amazon,’ said J. M. Berger, who studies such works as a fellow with the E.U.-funded VOX-Pol research network. ‘The platform has gone largely overlooked because, understandably, we think of books differently than other content. But these products are for sale and they’re being algorithmically pushed.’ We tested the recommendations for many far-right texts and discovered several that could lead users down a hate-filled rabbit hole, where the suggested books reinforce a white nationalist worldview. “