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December 30, 2021

Amazon Alexa Dares 10-Year-Old to Put Penny in Wall Outlet

Amazon announced an Alexa update after the software “challenged” a 10-year-old girl to touch a penny to a live electrical outlet.

“OMFG My 10 year old just asked Alexa on our Echo for a challenge and this is what she said,” Kristin Livdahl wrote on Twitter, alongside a screenshot of Alexa’s shocking recommendation.

“We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over holding a shoe on your foot, from a [physical education] teacher on YouTube earlier,” Livdahl said. “Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one.”

The penny challenge originated on TikTok in January 2020 after several viral videos encouraged viewers to stick a penny in an outlet to create sparks.

“This video is a concern and similar to past viral videos that encourage unsafe behavior,” Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey told the Boston Globe at the time. At least two incidents were reported in Massachusetts, with participants being charged with attempted arson.

“Customer trust is at the center of everything we do, and Alexa is designed to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to customers. As soon as we became aware of this error, we took swift action to fix it,” Amazon said in a statement.

Thankfully, Livdahl’s daughter didn’t take Alexa’s recommendation.

“My daughter says she is too smart to do something like that anyway,” Livdahl tweeted.



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Alexa tells 10-year-old girl to touch live plug with penny

November 15, 2021

NY Amazon workers withdraw petition to unionize

A group of Amazon workers in New York withdrew its petition to hold a vote to unionize.

The board had been expected to hold a hearing to determine the amount of interest in forming a union at the Staten Island distribution center less than two weeks away from the decision to withdraw.

NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado declined to elaborate on the reason for the move.

Former Amazon employee Christian Smalls has led the push for unionization in New York City. Smalls said the company fired him just hours after organizing a walkout last year to protest working conditions at the outset of the pandemic.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told NPR in a statement that “our focus remains on listening directly to our employees and continuously improving on their behalf.”

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Amazon workers in New York withdraw petition to unionize

September 3, 2021

Amazon recruits marijuana users amid delivery driver shortage

Amazon is urging its delivery partners to no longer screen applicants for marijuana use, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon says that the new policy can potentially boost applicants by 400%, though they don’t provide a source for that statistic. Additionally, they say that screening for marijuana use diminishes the number of prospective workers by 30%.

Some delivery partners are hesitant to comply with the 420-friendly request due to safety and liability concerns.

“If one of my drivers crashes and kills someone and tests positive for marijuana, that’s my problem, not Amazon’s,” an anonymous delivery partner said.

Amazon, which has been lobbying for federal legalization, announced in June that it was no longer screening applicants for marijuana. However, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to toke up before a shift.

“If a delivery associate is impaired at work and tests positive post-accident or due to reasonable suspicion, that person would no longer be permitted to perform services for Amazon,” a spokeswoman said.

Source:

Amazon’s Answer to Delivery Driver Shortage: Recruit Pot Smokers

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