Wayfair child trafficking conspiracy: How one confusing tweet almost destroyed the e-furniture giant

The belief that Wayfair is selling 'missing children' through their high-priced cabinets and throw pillows costing nearly $10,000 stirred a major debate


                            Wayfair child trafficking conspiracy: How one confusing tweet almost destroyed the e-furniture giant
Niraj Shah, chief executive officer of Wayfair, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 10, 2019 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Every July, some of the world's most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, and technology
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Wild theories on the Internet have often proved to be disastrous. In one such case, a wave of child trafficking conspiracy tweets ensnarled Wayfair, an e-commerce company that sells furniture. It started with one tweet that read: "Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection? Or are these just extremely overpriced cabinets? (Note the names of the cabinets) this makes me sick to my stomach if it’s true :(."

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Soon, it turned into a giant controversy once it was posted on Reddit and many social media users started targeting the furniture store just on the basis of the claims being made on the Internet. It's peculiar that the scandal took a colossal shape even though there hadn't been any prior complaints, firsthand accounts, financial records, or police reports. The news soon traveled faster than light and everyone was talking about it. 

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The belief that the home-goods company is selling "missing children" through their high-priced cabinets and throw pillows costing nearly $10,000 to $12,000 and $9,000 stirred a major debate. Multiple Twitter users posted pictures of the website's high-priced cabinets and allegedly claimed that they had people's names written beside them. According to the claims being made on the Internet, the cabinets or the "large boxes" looked like the same product, they all had different names, mostly of girls, allegedly, and particularly of missing children — including “Neriah”, “Yaritza”, “Samiyah” and “Alyvia”.

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(Twitter)

Among those tweets and comments, one read: "If you search bungalow rose a bunch of shower curtains and pillows show up priced at $9,999. Wayfair is fucking trafficking children what the f**k. Same with other things. They all have big price jumps to like 10 grand. Wayfair also supplies the furniture at ICE detention centers, where children are going MISSING from." 

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It was soon linked to the company's troubled history of selling furniture to migrant detention facilities — where thousands of immigrant children were housed — and how the company's employees had staged a walkout to protest the firm's decision. Even though Wayfair completely denied the false claims saying they had been accurately priced as the products were "industrial-grade cabinets", it hardly did anything for the rumors to die down. 

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In an official statement, the company said: "There is, of course, no truth to these claims. 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."

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A participant of the Wayfair walkout holds a sign in Copley Square on in Boston (Getty Images)

It is noteworthy that apart from being high-priced, there was no other base to the allegations. But the main question that hovers over many minds is: Why would one of the top e-commerce business websites allow people to purchase "missing children" openly — and that too online? Wouldn't it be too easy to track? 

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While the entire claim chain seems to be nonsensical, a few burning questions still need to be answered. Some social media users delved deeper into the theories and said that searching for the stock keeping unit number (SKU) preceded by the term “src usa” on the Russian search engine Yandex led to pictures of female children. As bizarre as it may sound, it is true. But it is also true for any random set of numbers along with “src usa”.

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Many others also linked the company's connection to Ghislaine Maxwell after a picture with the alleged 'president of operations' for the company, a man the internet has called 'Bill Hutcherson' emerged. Ellen DeGeneres' ‘involvement’ was also questioned as she was selling some of the children’s items from her line on Wayfair. However, until any concrete proof is dished out, it may be best to obliterate and draw a blank over such rumors and conspiracy tweets, wouldn't it?

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MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) cannot independently verify and does not support any claims being made on the Internet.