NEW AMAZON WORKER CHAT APP WOULD BAN WORDS LIKE “UNION,” “RESTROOMS,” “PAY RAISE,” AND “PLANTATION”

AMAZON WILL BLOCK and flag employee posts on a planned internal messaging app that contain keywords pertaining to labor unions, according to internal company documents reviewed by The Intercept. An automatic word monitor would also block a variety of terms that could represent potential critiques of Amazon’s working conditions, like “slave labor,” “prison,” and “plantation,” as well as “restrooms” — presumably related to reports of Amazon employees relieving themselves in bottles to meet punishing quotas.

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

In November 2021, Amazon convened a high-level meeting in which top executives discussed plans to create an internal social media program that would let employees recognize co-workers’ performance with posts called “Shout-Outs,” according to a source with direct knowledge.

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Amazon’s Alexa dishes out potentially deadly challenge

Amazon says it has updated its voice assistant after it transpired that Alexa had suggested a 10-year-old girl touch a coin to the prongs of a partially inserted plug as a challenge.

The girl’s mother posted a tweet on Monday describing how her daughter had been doing some cold-weather indoor challenges set by a phys. ed. teacher on YouTube and was seeking another one. To the woman’s shock, Alexa suggested a “simple” task it had found on the web, whereby the participant “plug[s] in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch[es] a penny to the exposed prongs.” 

The dangerous “penny challenge” started making the rounds on TikTok and other platforms about a year ago and can potentially lead to electric shock as well as cause a fire.

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Amazon deleted reviews of Chinese president’s book on government’s orders

Didn’t like Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book? Keep your mouth shut.

That’s what China told Amazon, according to a new report, when the country pushed the bookseller to delete all comments and reviews related to “The Governance of China,” a compendium of Xi’s speeches and writings.

Amazon complied. It’s another example of a US company bending to Chinese pressure in order to keep doing business in the huge and growing economy.

The government edict was delivered two years ago, according to the Reuters report citing two people familiar with the matter, but had never before been disclosed.

Now, on Amazon sites accessed within China, there are no reviews or star ratings for the book.

The censorship demand was made after some reviewers gave the leader’s tome less-than-stellar marks, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

It was a negative review that prompted the wholesale ban on reviews and ratings on the book, according to a source. The ban was for the book’s Amazon listing in China.

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Amazon patents show new level of surveillance

Amazon has registered 17 new patents for biometric technology intended to help its doorbell cameras identify “suspicious” people by scent, skin texture, fingerprints, eyes, voice, and gait.

The tech giant has been developing its doorbell security camera system since 2018, when Amazon acquired the firm named Ring and, with it, the original technology. According to media reports, Jeff Bezos’ company is now preparing to enable the devices to identify “suspicious” people with the help of biometric technology, based on skin texture, gait, finger, voice, retina, iris, and even odor.

On top of that, if Amazon’s new patents are anything to go by, all Ring doorbell cameras in a given neighborhood would be interconnected, sharing data with each other and creating a composite image of “suspicious” individuals.

One of the patents for what is described in the media as a “neighborhood alert mode” would allow users in one household to send photos and videos of someone they deem ‘suspicious’ to their neighbors’ Ring cameras so that they, too, start recording and can assemble a “series of ‘storyboard’ images for activity taking place across the fields of view of multiple cameras.

Aside from the possible future interconnectivity among the Ring devices themselves, Amazon’s doorbell cameras, as it stands now, already exchange information with 1,963 police and 383 fire departments across the US, according to Business Insider. Authorities do not even need a warrant to access Ring footage.

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I found an Amazon folder with thousands of audio recordings from my home gadgets

A woman was shocked to discover just how much data Amazon has collected about her.

She posted a viral TikTok video explaining how she requested to see the data but wasn’t expecting to receive so much.

TikToker my.data.not.yours explained: “I requested all the data Amazon has on me and here’s what I found.”

She revealed that she has three Amazon smart speakers.

Two are Amazon Dot speakers and one is an Echo device.

Her home also contains smart bulbs.

She said: “When I downloaded the ZIP file these are all the folders it came with.”

The TikToker then clicked on the audio file and revealed thousands of short voice clips that she claims Amazon has collected from her smart speakers.

She described them as “so scary” and played one of her talking about turning on a light.

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Amazon Caught Throwing Away Tons of Unexpired Food as US Faces Unprecedented Food Insecurity

Food insecurity in the Land of the Free is at a historical high. Thanks to the fed printing trillions to pay for their irresponsible and economically devastating lockdown policies, food costs have gone through the roof, supply chains are disrupted, there are fewer workers, and the impact is empty shelves. According to a report in Bloomberg, some of the countries largest food distributors are reporting difficulties in fulfilling orders.

Naturally, if the retail food supply is in a rut, the food banks and charities reflect this. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in March that as many as 9 million children live in a household where they don’t eat enough because the parents can’t afford it. And now, those who are able to donate, can’t due to shortages in the supply chain.

One company, however, isn’t reporting any shortages and, according to a shocking account, has an excess so large, they are throwing thousands of pounds of food away every single day.

An anonymous whistleblower from inside Amazon has exposed a practice by the delivery giant that removes any claims of Amazon running an efficient and sustainable ship. This person claims to be an employee inside an Amazon warehouse and has provided photographs of thousands of food items being destroyed on a daily basis — with the expiration dates days or weeks away.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren questions Amazon on why books that contain “misinformation” are listed as bestsellers

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has joined the call in asking Amazon to provide more details on its content moderation policies over what they see as the retailer’s failure to address what she says is the spread of COVID-19 misinformation in books.

Warren accused the tech giant of promoting books and other material containing COVID-19 misinformation.

“During the week of August 22, 2021, my staff conducted sample searches on Amazon.com of pandemic-related terms such as ‘COVID-19,’ ‘COVID,’ ‘vaccine,’ ‘COVID 19 vaccine,’ and ‘pandemic,’” Sen. Warren wrote in a letter addressed to Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy. “The top results consistently included highly-ranked and favorably-tagged books based on falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and cures.”

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How The Amazon Web Hosting Crackdown Threatens Patreon, Substack, And You

Last week, Reuters reported based on two anonymous sources that Amazon Web Services, which controls 40 percent of web hosting in the world, “plans to take a more proactive approach to determine what types of content violate its cloud service policies.”

“Over the coming months, Amazon will hire a small group of people in its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division to develop expertise and work with outside researchers to monitor for future threats, one of the sources familiar with the matter said. It could turn Amazon, the leading cloud service provider worldwide with 40% market share according to research firm Gartner, into one of the world’s most powerful arbiters of content allowed on the internet, experts say.”

Amazon declined to comment to Reuters for the story, then after the article published sent a statement insisting the report was “wrong,” claiming, “‘AWS Trust & Safety has no plans to change its policies or processes, and the team has always existed.’”

“We’ve always reserved the right to police who is allowed to speak on our internet” is not a very comforting response to an article alleging a coming content crackdown. In addition, to this post-publication claim from Amazon, “A Reuters spokesperson said the news agency stands by its reporting.”

Don’t forget the context: The Biden administration revealed a few weeks ago that they, mafia-like, pressure big tech entities like Facebook and Twitter to remove information that contradicts their political goals. (“That’s an, um, ‘misinformed’ piece of content over there on your platform. Sure would be a shame if the super-touchy Democrats controlling the entire federal government decided it was a reason to regulate and legally harass you.”)

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