An unfounded conspiracy theory about the furniture company Wayfair using its site to sell children under the guise of expensive furniture has been all over social media since the beginning of June and left many wondering if it’s true.
What We Know:
- The conspiracy theory about Wayfair child trafficking started at the beginning of June by QAnon supporter and Twitter user @99freemind, also known as Amazing Polly, who posted a photo of expensive storage cabinets from Wayfair, highlighting some of the names of the cabinets that are allegedly identical to the names of missing female children.
- The conspiracy theory got a lot of attention on social media and soon other people started posting “evidence” to fuel the rumors and they appeared believable. Human trafficking can happen in many forms, which means the conspiracy theory could be true if the holes in the investigation could be patched up. But even the pieces of “evidence” seem to have holes.
- One piece of evidence is a video a lady posted on social media that supposedly proved that Wayfair is child trafficking. In the video, the woman goes to Wayfair’s website and input the code for a Rogers Leather 147” Right Hand Facing Sectional in the search bar. She pointed out that the couch is a little over $14,000, and they only had one left in stock. Previously she had already put the couch in her cart, so she clicked on the cart and proceeded to check out. Normally, people are supposed to type in their info for delivery, but when she proceeded to check out, the name Precious Harris was already in the name box. She went to another window and showed that a girl named Precious Harris had been missing.
- And while the woman claims that this is proof that Wayfair is child trafficking, there are inconsistencies. The sectional could be found on the website, but to check out once it’s in the cart, an account was needed to be made. And at the checkout part (after the account was made), the name box was empty. What some believers of this video don’t think to realize is that technology remembers (autofill). A lot of commenters of the video followed the same steps and didn’t get the results, which shows that autofill is the logical explanation.
- A storage cabinet called the Samiyah 5-Shelf Storage Cabinet that’s supposedly named after a “missing” teen named Samiyah Mumin is another piece of evidence users used to prove the conspiracy true, but Mumin addressed the rumors on Facebook live, saying she has never been missing.
- Maddie and Justin Thomson are a couple from Arizona who went live on Instagram to fuel the conspiracy saying that they purchased a $17,000 Wayfair desk to prove the conspiracy theory was not true but disputed the transaction but, according to them, they received a weird phone call from Wayfair asking them if they wanted to open a free Wayfair Professional account. In another live video, Justin Thomson called Wayfair back, asking why they removed a $13,000 cabinet to be renamed and repriced, but the representative ended the call.
- Now, Wayfair has had many media outlets ask them about the trafficking claims, and they’ve denied them several times and explained that the removal of some of their products was because of a “pricing glitch” they had. “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 the 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 said in a statement to Business Insider.
- However, it doesn’t stop with just Wayfair. Just like how QAnon supporters linked Chrissy Teigen to Jeffrey Epstein, a QAnon supporter and Twitter user, @_Colleen Ruiz, linked Ellen DeGeneres to the Wayfair trafficking conspiracy because of an ED Ellen DeGeneres Crafted by Loloi Lumbar Pillow that was being sold on Wayfair for $10,098. This was before Wayfair fixed its glitch. And just like @99freemind, @_ColleenRuiz has #WWG1WGA on their profile, which is a QAnon saying and means “where we go one, we go all.”
- Co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, Derrica Wilson described the conspiracy theory as a distraction to hide what’s going on and said that she doesn’t think the media should give these rumors attention in the media.
“I don’t know if it was the first thing that popped into their heads, but it definitely got the media buzzing about these allegations that I’m quite sure ham trafficking hotlines have been experiencing a lot of calls,” she said.” “From my perspective from the organization, I’m quite sure that it really became a distraction with all the media publicity, all these claims that have been unfounded.”
- “But yet we still have children and men and women who are victims of human trafficking that’s happening here on U.S. soil…these conspiracies are put out to distract people from what’s really happening and what’s going on,” she continued.
It’s unsure as to what caused the furniture prices to glitch but Amazon has been having the same issue. The pricing glitch can occur because of issues with the algorithm, placeholder pricing (used to “deactivate” a product that’s out of stock instead of taking it down), or the product is just that expensive. But instead of jumping to obscure conclusions, it’s best to do a little research.