Amazon's staffing up a news vertical full of crime stories designed to scare you into buying a spying, snitching "smart" doorbell

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Are they really delivering news or just regular pulses of fear in push-notification form?

They should hire from Daily Mail staff - those guys really know how to pump fear on a daily basis; recruit the proven pros!

someone in the uniform of a local lawn-care service had recently knocked on someone’s door instead of using the doorbell and, when no one answered, left.

Also, two young people, one male, one female, wearing identical T-shirts and lanyards with name badges, carrying clipboards—likely trying to get signatures for some cause or another—rang a doorbell and then walked away when no one answered.

There will be a nationwide epidemic of RSI from pearl-clutching!

Seriously, FFS - people in uniforms or with clearly available identification called (horror!) and (more horror!) left when nobody answered the door! And this is worthy of note?


WTF is a “news vertical”?


Hmm, is this going to result in an Amazon show featuring Chris Hansen? “To Catch a Porch Pirate”


If that were actually Amazon’s goal then they would just advertise on Fox News and save some money.


Simply put, an article formatted for continuous scrolling, instead of paging. In other words, more like a continuous blog than a traditional newspaper article. It’s FB’s bread-and-butter.

Note: “Vertical media” is an unrelated term; it refers to targeting a single industry in its entirety, rather than many industries in a more shallow manner.


Ah, so the terrifying storytelling never ends? Nice…


Express courier types always do this. Also post service types, they also put a slip where they say you have to get your parcel at the post office.

And about people in uniform feel lucky if a cop does this!

These f’ing things are the bane of my existence, every would be sleuth in our home owner’s association has to share a video of some mundane happening with a zero interest level. Fuuuuuck!


Pretty funny that Amazon helps create the increase in porch package theft by dropping the signature requirement for delivery (to increase sales, porch theft be damned) and now offers the “solution” in the form of the Horse is Already Out of the Barn brand networked porch cameras. :-/


In my area porch thieves are hiding in plain site wearing hi viz vests to look like Amazon delivery contractors. And door-to-door scammers have been been using name badges as part of creating false credibility for years. Name badges mean nothing if you have no way to verify what they mean, if anything, and, if they do mean something, that they are actually valid and belong to the person wearing them.

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The road to hell is paved with infinite scrolling.


Jeff Bezos?


I think one has to be careful about sweeping generalizations like this. First of all, where you are is very, very, very relevant, and not everyone is experiencing rises and drops in crime the same. Second of all, police lie, all the damn time, and are subject to the same incentives anyone else is. There is a lot of political pressure to make it look like they are doing a good job, and crime stat suppression is the time-honored best way to do that. Since when are we so trustful of the police? When is the last time Cory needed to file a police report over something stolen? Because if he has, he’d know that they will try and talk you out of it, and failing that do everything they can to get you to take it somewhere else.

I do believe crime is broadly down, in general taking the country as a whole over 50 years, but I’m wary of claims any more specific than that. I also think it’s shitty to try to manipulate peoples’ fears, but there are circumstances where you’re not just being paranoid, someone really is trying to take your stuff.

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I agree with this overall. I think what happens is that things become amplified via social media and the like. We have a neighborhood FB page and of course there is one on NextDoor, too.
Someone just posted a video the other day of a drunk near the university ramming a parked car in a driveway then taking off. Which has been happening everywhere since the invention of the automobile, of course. But people freak out and say things like “what’s going on in the world today??”

LA Times article from last year -


If you think Nextdoor is bad you probably should stay away from Citizen app too.

If I was them I would totally lobby some congress people to relax drinking water standards so you can lead into the population again and increase violence!

Now if you’re an Amazon executive reading this and thinking wow, that guy just let a great idea like that go out there for free! Yes I did, however I have a lot more ideas that would be of great benefit to you in causing an increase in crime and thus improving the selling proposition of your fine product. This initial idea is actually one of the lesser ones that I have released, free of charge, to increase interest in my consulting services.

I look forward to hearing from you in regards to possible ways we can mutually benefit each other, and the many owners of your fine products.

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Another consequence of these infernal things that I am just learning about is that homeowners are using them to track the coming goings of their hired help. Gardners landscapers, and handy-people are getting nickle and dimed on their already paltry wages because the homeowner sees them coming to the house five minutes after the time they reported. It is not only financially impactful, but downright demeaning and insulting to be watched minute by minute.

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This just got posted to our FB page.
Thankfully most people are questioning why in the first place.
We live in the city. There’s a major blvd running through the south and north sections of it. People might walk through.


I’m infinite scrolling RIGHT NOW