Wayfair has categorically denied conspiracy theories that the company was allegedly using storage cabinets as a cover to traffick children.
“There is, of course, no truth to these claims,” Wayfair said in a statement to Mashable. “The products in question are industrial grade cabinets that are accurately priced.”
“Recognizing that the photos and descriptions provided by the supplier did not adequately explain the high price point, we have temporarily removed the products from site to rename them and to provide a more in-depth description and photos that accurately depict the product to clarify the price point.”
#Wayfair statement:— Audrey Conklin (@audpants) July 10, 2020
"There is, of course, no truth to these claims. The products in question are industrial-grade cabinets that are accurately priced. ... The supplier did not adequately explain the high price point [and] we have temporarily removed the products from site..."
It appears that the theory first arose on Reddit’s r/conspiracy subreddit, the New York Post reports. The Reddit post used two pieces of possible evidence to back the claims, noting that the furniture was marked at a high price and that each piece was identified using a woman’s name.
The cabinets—called Alyvia, Neriah, Samiyah, and Yaritza—cost anywhere from $12,699.99 to $14,499.99 each, according to the subreddit. “Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection?” the original post by user PrincessPeach1987 reportedly read, with other users asserting that “some of the names are missing children.”
What do yall think about this? Wildly coincidence or something sinister? I feel like some of their names are kind of unique so it can't be coincidental. But would sex traffickers be that dumb to use their real names?? pic.twitter.com/hJcVYgIj3j— A🔥C🚔A🔥B (@UnicornPlushy) July 10, 2020
As the theory snowballed, finding its way from Reddit to Twitter and TikTok on Friday, people began looking on Wayfair for more bizarre listings, ultimately digging up extremely expensive pillows and shower curtains—and tried to link these items to missing kids.
Y’all this Wayfair Human trafficking thing is crazy. Look at this, there are two pillows/shower curtains that are the exact same, but one is $100 and the other is $10K. The $10K one is named the same thing as a Black girl missing in Michigan... pic.twitter.com/1fFmrIBgxJ— all black lives matter (@zarimx) July 10, 2020
Regarding these other products, a Wayfair representative told Mashable, “I can confirm that is a glitch and something we're working to address.”
One more statement from Wayfair— Audrey Conklin (@audpants) July 10, 2020
About pillow prices: "That is a glitch and something we're working to address."
"To further clarify 'industrial-grade,' these products are industrial-grade, high-gauge stainless steel cabinets made in the USA primarily for commercial use."
Some are saying that right-wing groups like Pizzagate and QAnon are fueling the theory. According to Mashable, QAnon is a “pro-Trump conspiracy movement that believes the president is going to publicly expose a massive pedophile ring.” Pizzagate dates to the 2016 presidential election, and theorizes that Hillary Clinton and Democratic elites were operating a child sex-trafficking ring from a Washington pizzeria; it has since been debunked.
We're living in a second, more profound and politically important Satanic Panic. This time, everyone's in on it.— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) July 10, 2020
People will look for coincidences as narrow and stupid as pricing glitches on furniture sites as "proof" a global cabal is eating children and controlling the world.
As always, this is the problem with Pizzagate-style narratives. Child sex trafficking exists and thrives, and internet conspiracy theories about child eating on 8chan work to delegitimize the work advocates do to stomp it out.https://t.co/ls8wd770yn— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) July 10, 2020
Here's one of the people that conspiracy theorists are accusing of being child trafficked on Wayfair.— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) July 10, 2020
"Why are you posting people, talking about 'they're missing' when you don't even know if they're missing, with a cabinet?"https://t.co/BFhSlMul4S
Last summer, Wayfair came under fire for reports that the company was selling beds to border detention camps for migrant children. Employees staged a walkout to protest the company selling $200,000 in beds and furniture to a Texas detention center, which then supplemented the recent theories. People began speculating that ICE and Wayfair were working together to sell kids in sex trafficking rings.
this conspiracy theory has also merged with the "ICE is sex trafficking the kids in cages" theory. at the risk of sounding pedantic— g a b y (@gabydvj) July 10, 2020
- the cages were run by CBP, not ICE
- most migrant kids aren't even being let into the US now; they're being "expelled" into mexico https://t.co/AOPavyLe5z
PrincessPeach1987, the Reddit user who started the theory, told Newsweek that they were attempting to accuse Wayfair, but more so seeing “if anyone else had more details.”
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