Twitter Tantrums Threaten to Sever All Ties with Amazon, But One
I’m loathe to discuss anything that a person says on Twitter, but sometimes it’s necessary to point out just how ridiculous people are. It upset a fair number of people that a billionaire recently used his own money to fly to the edge of space. This mob believes this billionaire’s money to be ill-gotten, because he doesn’t pay his employees an amount that they think is fair.
The more poorly informed think it outrageous that workers for this billionaire’s company slave away for minimum wage. They illustrate just how poorly informed they are by not knowing that the company in question starts its workers at almost twice the federal minimum wage.
Most shocking of all (and by that I mean shocking to absolutely no one), these people took to Twitter and discussed their plans to fight back. They’re cancelling their Amazon Prime memberships and pledging to boycott Whole Foods. Of course, they’ll scorch the earth to sever all ties with Amazon, all ties except the one that hurts the most, Twitter. That’s probably the least shocking part of the story.
Wannabe Upton Sinclairs Don’t Realize that Twitter Runs on Amazon Web Services
Given its ubiquity, it’s natural that most people associate Amazon with its delivery service and online marketplace. Most people don’t realize that a large portion of the company’s revenue and most of its profitability comes from Amazon Web Services (AWS). The cloud-based services that AWS provides represent the backbone of many websites.
In December 2020, Twitter announced that it struck a deal to expand its AWS use. This may come as a shock to many in the Twitter mob, but continuing to use Twitter indirectly benefits the most profitable part of Amazon. In fact, it’s not just Twitter, but roughly 1/3 of all websites that use AWS. It appears that ridding oneself of Amazon is easier said than done.
An Obvious Conclusion
The main criticism of Twitter campaigns is that people who know very little about an issue or company rile up a mob, and then demand that the target of their ire implement some half-formed remedy. As with many of these campaigns, those behind it will do anything to make their point, up to the point that it inconveniences them.
Cancelling a Prime membership or avoiding Whole Foods doesn’t impose much of a cost, since there are other places to shop online, services to stream, and grocery stores to visit. Of course, there’s only one Twitter, a Twitter that generates ad revenue with the help of AWS, which in turn uses that revenue to pay for that help. If the Twitter mob really wants to rid themselves of all stenches Amazon, they must do something that will really hurt them, quit Twitter.
Of course this raises another problem. Without Twitter, how will they disseminate their well-thought outrage of the day to the rest of the mob?