Color me shocked, but some Facebook employees were reportedly caught giving the company’s Portal devices five-star reviews on Amazon. Hard to believe a company as honest and ethical would have employees working for them that would do such a thing.
Especially when the former mentor of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote for Time magazine, “The people at Facebook live in their own bubble. Zuck has always believed that connecting everyone on Earth was a mission so important that it justified any action necessary to accomplish it. Convinced of the nobility of their mission, Zuck and his employees seem to listen to criticism without changing their behavior. They respond to nearly every problem with the same approach that created the problem in the first place: more AI, more code, more short-term fixes. They do not do this because they are bad people. They do this because success has warped their perception of reality. They cannot imagine that the recent problems could be in any way linked to their designs or business decisions.”
So what were those Facebook employees’ first mistake? Giving Portal devices five-star reviews.
Because it was those unusually happy five-star reviews that led New York Times reporter Kevin Roose to do a little digging.
“Speaking of coordinated inauthentic behavior, what are the odds that all these 5-star Facebook Portal reviewers on Amazon just happen to have the same names as Facebook employees?” Roose asked on Twitter, along with a couple of screenshots.
Roose followed up with another tweet that read, “Reviewing your employer’s products is definitely against Amazon’s rules. It’s also not exactly an indicator of confidence in how well they’re selling organically!”
Interestingly, Facebook’s vice president for AR/VR, Andrew Bosworth, caught wind of the “discovery” and responded, tweeting, “Neither coordinated nor directed from the company. From an internal post at the launch: ‘We, unequivocally, DO NOT want Facebook employees to engage in leaving reviews for the products that we sell to Amazon.’ We will ask them to take down.”
Of course, if these employees weren’t so bad at it…
“I have historically not been a big Facebook or other social media user,” *spends around $1,000 on four Portals*, wrote someone named Tim Chappell, which also happens to be the name of Facebook’s head of supply-chain and strategic sourcing AR/VR products.
…they may not have been caught.
According to Digital Information World, he does.