The way we critize Amazon needs to change

In recent months and years, Amazon has come under increasing scrutiny from the general public. It’s hard to find someone who is unopinated about the retail giant most recently valued at $1.7 billion. While it’s easy to point out flaws in the company, the issues are often more nuanced than many are willing to admit. Unless you’re really willing to stop buying anything from Amazon, it’s time to think more carefully about how the company is criticized.

Amazon is a large and complicated entity, and with that complexity comes both good and bad aspects. In the pursuit of a better understanding of Amazon’s moral standing, it’s important to take a look at both sides of the spectrum.

Many people may be unaware of some ways which the company has beneficially contributed to society. On the most basic level, Amazon is consistently one of the highest ranked businesses among consumers. Simply put, customers are happy with the high quality services the company provides. Amazon offers affordable options for many, and it’s convenience is unmatched. Amazon also maintains many initiatives focused on doing good. In 2016, the company vowed to hire 25,000 US military veterans by 2021 and recently scored a 100 on The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. Amazon has also facilitated the donation of an estimated 135 million through its charity program AmazonSmile. Amazon is also truly an asset for smaller businesses. This is admittedly a narrative that Amazon frequently uses in their advertising, but the fact of the matter is that it holds truth. The reach and consumer trust in Amazon is instrumental in many online businesses.

Rest assured, I am not postulating that Amazon is a perfect corporate angel, but rather that there is an inherent complexity in a service as big as Amazon that few are willing to accept. I’ve witnessed many people criticize Amazon heavily on the outside, but I’m skeptical that everyone of them has stopped purchasing items from Amazon. Calls to get rid of the company altogether are unrealistic and often disregard the people whose livelihood depends on the company in one way or another. The troubling facts about Amazon are undeniable (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wealth, recent scrutiny for worker conditions, to mention a few), but oversimplifying the issue into a malicious CEO and company destroying the world is near-sighted.

I’m asking those with their minds made up about Amazon (mainly through posts they see on social media) to do real research to support their position. It’s very possible that these individuals may still come to the conclusion that Amazon is bad for the world and that’s okay. I do not wish to promote an ideology, but rather to elevate the level of discussion around the issue and embrace the inherent nuance that is often disregarded.