Worker, she twote: are the Amazombies real people, or is it all a PR stunt?

Over the past few days, TechCrunch, The Guardian, and others have been writing with some amusement about the inexplicable and rather silly little army of Amazon bot-drones that have sprung up on Twitter. Assuming they don’t get deleted in a fit of embarrassment, you should be able to find those accounts here. The questions that sprang up across various media sources ranged from, “Is this elaborate counter-marketing?” to “Are these people really… real?”

That latter question naturally caught my full attention, so I decided to spend my Saturday afternoon addressing two research questions:

  • Are these tweets really being sent by a bunch of unique people?
  • Or are these all synthetic identities that are the work of a PR company employee or two?

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