It was a slow news day at Gizmodo, the tech website where Dell Cameron worked. Without a story of his own to report he decided to aggregate—a journalism term for rewriting and crediting—a day-old Tampa ABC-affiliate’s TV piece on how Amazon’s Ring home surveillance security system was being marketed to dozens of Florida police departments.
A day later, an email from an Amazon spokesperson popped into Cameron’s inbox. The brief email claimed that the Tampa-based reporter, Adam Walser, was “correcting his story” and suggested that Cameron would need to do so as well. In her mail, the spokesperson challenged the accuracy of the station’s entire report. “It is inaccurate that AWS or Amazon is marketing Amazon Rekognition to law enforcement, either individually or in combination with Ring,” she wrote.
Cameron checked, and he didn’t see a correction on the Tampa story. Before making any change to his post, Cameron decided to reach out to Walser and double-check. “I read him the exact email that they sent me,” Cameron says. Walser was puzzled, according to Cameron. “He said ‘That’s just not true, we’re not issuing a correction. I don’t know what they’re talking about.’” Cameron wrote back to the Amazon spokesperson relaying what he’d been told, and mentioning that Gizmodo was planning their own potential follow-up story that was “likely to include that Amazon attempted to obtain a correction from Gizmodo by falsely claiming the ABC station was planning to issue one.”
Normandin says Amazon punished him for things beyond his control that prevented him from completing his deliveries, such as locked apartment complexes. He said he took the termination hard and, priding himself on a strong work ethic, recalled that during his military career he helped cook for 250,000 Vietnamese refugees at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. “I’m an old-school kind of guy, and I give every…
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