Amazon Burgoo: A Recipe from the Baedeker of Zuckland

June 17, 2021

Amazon Blames Social Media for Struggle with Fake Reviews” sparked a thought I had not entertained previously. Amazon is taking a page from the Zuck Baedeker to Disingenuousness. This is a collection of aphorisms, precepts, and management tips which I imagine is provided to each Facebook employee. Whether it is a Facebook senior manager explaining how Facebook is a contributor to cohesiveness or another top puppy leaning in on Cambridge Analytic-type matters, I visualize this top secret compendium as the Book. A Facebooker’s success depends on learning by rote the hows and whys of Facebooking.

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This image is from a Kentucky inspired cook who knows about burgoo. The dark meat in the mish mash of what’s in the fridge is squirrel and maybe other critters. Reviews of burgoo suggest it is the best possible meal for a hungry person with a pile of dead squirrels.

Now, it is possible, that this Baedeker has fallen into the hands of Amazon’s senior managers. The write up “Amazon Blames Social Media” reports:

Amazon has blamed social media companies for its failure to remove fake reviews from its website, arguing that “bad actors” turn to social networks to buy and sell fake product reviews outside the reach of its own technology.

I interpret this as meaning “not our fault.” It is a variation on the type of thinking which allegedly sparked this observation by the social media top dog:

A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.

The write up “Amazon Blames Social Media” includes this passage, allegedly from the Bezos bulldozer’s exhaust pipes:

Amazon says the blame for those organizations should lie with social media companies, who it says are slow to act when warned that fake reviews are being solicited on their platforms. “In the first three months of 2020, we reported more than 300 groups to social media companies, who then took a median time of 45 days to shut down those groups from using their service to perpetrate abuse,” an unsigned Amazon blog post said. “In the first three months of 2021 we reported more than 1,000 such groups, with social media services taking a median time of five days to take them down. “While we appreciate that some social media companies have become much faster at responding, to address this problem at scale it is imperative for social media companies to invest adequately in proactive controls to detect and enforce fake reviews ahead of our reporting the issue to them.”

Delicious. One possible monopoly blaming another possible monopoly using the type of logic employed by other monopolies.

Okay, who is to blame? Obviously not Amazon. Those reviews, however, can be tomfoolery, but they are indexable. And in the quest to grow one’s share of the product search market, words are needed. Bulkage is good.

Trimming the wordage benefits not the bulldozer. Facebook-type outfits seek engagement. Remember the dying squirrel? Ponder the squirrel as a creature who wants truth, accuracy, and integrity to prevail in the forest. How’s that working out for the squirrel and modern business practices? Just great for some. For others, burgoo. Now try to take the carrots, beans, and dead squirrel out of the pot and uncook them. Tough job, right?

Stephen E Arnold, June 17, 2021

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