Amazon considering plan to flag words related to labor unions, grievances, from internal chat

According to internal Amazon documents obtained by The Intercept, Amazon is considering the launch of an employee instant chat program that would flag a predetermined set of terms when used in employee chats on the platform.

The documents show Amazon is thinking about flagging words like “union,” “slave labor,” “prison,” “plantation,” and “restrooms.” The latter is presumably in response to news reports of Amazon workers allegedly urinating in empty bottles because they were not afforded a bathroom break at work.

When asked about the planned internal chat program, Amazon spokesperson Barbara M. Agrait said, “Our teams are always thinking about new ways to help employees engage with each other. This particular program has not been approved yet and may change significantly or even never launch at all.”

In spite of the leaked documents, Amazon denies the flagging bot would act on many of the terms being reported. “If it does launch at some point down the road,” Agrait said, “there are no plans for many of the words you’re calling out to be screened. The only kinds of words that may be screened are ones that are offensive or harassing, which is intended to protect our team.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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