An Amazon facility.
Unsplash | Bryan Angelo

Amazon Worker Chat App Bans Words Such As "Union", "Restroom", "Slave", and "Accessibility"

Rumors about working conditions over at Amazon have been circulating for as long as the company's been a staple in modern purchasing life. From warehouse workers being overworked to needing to take bathroom breaks in bottles, people seem to know it's a less than stellar place to work.

The rumors are only growing as a leaked list of banned words from an upcoming employee chatting app has been shared by The Intercept, leaving people very concerned.

Recent documents leaked from within Amazon have shed light on a concerning practice forced upon employees.

A phone with the Amazon shopping app.
Unsplash | James Yarema

The internal chat app used by employees may soon have a monitoring system that will block and flag employee messages that contain certain words. It's not a profanity filter or anything of the sort; instead, the banned words list includes words relating to unions, pay, or poor work environments.

Some examples include, "Living Wage," "Petition," and "Harassment."

An Amazon truck on a bridge.
Unsplash | David Ballew

Talks of an Amazon worker-only social media program of sorts have been in discussion since November of 2021, but a concept that originally began as a mass platform where employees could shout each other out got whittled down into a one-on-one messaging system to prevent mass displays of negativity.

And to prevent private displays of negativity, the banned word list was introduced.

Not only could messages containing these words be flagged and blocked, alongside swears and slurs, but managers will also have the authority to flag any messages they deem inappropriate.

Amazon, of course, thinks this is fine and normal.

A shot of an amazon warehouse.
Unsplash | Adrian Sulyok

In a document regarding the program, it states, "We want to lean towards being restrictive on the content that can be posted to prevent a negative associate experience."

People, on the other hand, think this is ridiculous.

Concern is high in those watching this play out, finding their specific choice of words to be both suspicious and frightening. Not to mention other, practical reasons that this list is worrisome. As one person wrote, "So in the event the place catches fire you'd better find a synonym really fast."

As it stands, the app hasn't rolled out just yet.

An Amazon facility.
Unsplash | Bryan Angelo

Amazon is making it clear that it's still a work in progress and could undergo some changes. Spokesperson Barbara M. Agrait said, "This particular program has not been approved yet and may change significantly or even never launch at all."

h/t: The Intercept