New York Times’ Takedown of Amazon Breaks Site’s Comments Record

5,597 people have commented on the paper’s scathing story that describes Amazon as a “bruising workplace”

Last Updated: August 19, 2015 @ 9:05 AM

The New York Times story on the cutthroat, borderline “Hunger Games”-esque Amazon workplace broke the site’s comments record.

As of Wednesday morning, 5,597 people had commented on the paper’s 5,400-word story that described Amazon as a “bruising workplace.” The previous record was a 2013 op-ed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which drew 4,447 comments.

The piece, a scathing takedown of Amazon’s workplace culture, drew a strong defense from the company’s CEO Jeff Bezos, who said he didn’t “recognize this Amazon” and if the company was really as heartless as the story described, he himself would bolt.

The Times “claims that our intentional approach is to create a soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is had and no laughter heard,” he wrote in a staff memo on Monday.

“Again, I don’t recognize this Amazon and I very much hope you don’t, either,” Bezos wrote. “I strongly believe that anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the NYT would be crazy to stay. I know I would leave such a company.”

The Times story wasn’t perfect, according to the paper’s public editor Margaret Sullivan, who wrote the “evidence against Amazon, while powerful, is largely anecdotal, not data-driven. And anecdotes can be used and interpreted in any number of ways.”

As a result of the story, Bezos called on his employees to file any grievances, large or small, with HR.

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