In a six-page letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed her comments on the online retail giant’s “search and The’bestseller’ algorithm” is spreading concerns about misinformation about vaccines and COVID-19 treatment.
“It’s shocking that Amazon, the leading online retailer in the United States, and the company’s search algorithms seem to be contributing to the spread of COVID-19 misinformation,” Warren Wrote in the letter of September 7.
“In the week of August 22, 2021, my employees conducted a sample search on Amazon.com for terms related to the pandemic, such as’COVID-19′,’COVID’,’vaccine’,’COVID 19 vaccine ‘And’Pandemic’.’The top-ranked results always include top-ranked and labeled books based on false information about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.”
Amazon’s public relations department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Warren often criticizes the power and influence of the four major US technology companies-Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple. He told Jassy that this is not the first time Amazon has become a platform for misinformation this year.
“This is the second time in six months that I have discovered Amazon’s practices of misleading consumers in COVID-19 prevention or treatment: Earlier this year, I wrote to worry that the company would provide consumers with false information about FDA-authorized KN95. Misleading information mask,” Warren wrote.
“This pattern and practice of misconduct shows that Amazon is unwilling or unable to modify its business practices to prevent the spread of false information or the sale of inappropriate products-this is unethical, unacceptable and unacceptable for one of the largest companies in the United States. Probably illegal behavior. Retailer.”
In July, Amazon launched its own home vaccine kit. The $39.95 kit and the internal COVID-19 program that Amazon has tested on more than 750,000 employees show that the company attaches great importance to the pandemic.
Warren admitted that the company “seems to have no’sponsored’ search results for any epidemic-related terms, like KN95 masks, although it does rely heavily on the’bestseller’ label.” She also admitted that Amazon does pass food and drugs Links to the Authority’s website direct users to useful information about the spread of the virus.
But Warren ranked the site at the top of the rankings of COVID misinformation peddlers Joseph Mercola and Ronnie Cummins, as well as their book The Truth About COVID-19: Exposing the Big Reset, Blockade, Vaccine Passport, and New “Normal State” made severe criticisms.
“This book is not only the top result when searching for “COVID-19” or “vaccine” in the “All Departments” and “Books” categories, it has also been marked by Amazon as a “Bestseller” and “#1 Best” Massachusetts Democracy Party members wrote that sellers in the “political freedom category”.
In short, she asked Jassy four questions she hoped to answer by September 22:
- What is Amazon’s current policy regarding publishing, promoting, and selling books and other products containing COVID-19 misinformation on its platform?
- What specific actions has Amazon taken to address the spread of COVID-19 misinformation through search results or other uses of its platform?
- Why does Amazon’s search algorithm highlight books with COVID-19 misinformation?
- Why do books with COVID-19 misinformation receive the “Bestseller” label from Amazon? What criteria does Amazon use to award these labels, and what steps does Amazon take to highlight products that contain that label?
It is not clear whether Jassy, who took over as CEO in July, will respond to these inquiries.