The Wayfair Conspiracy
Is Wayfair a Secret Child Trafficking Ring?
This week the online furniture company Wayfair was accused indirectly by Reddit user PrincessPeach1987 (who remains anonymous) of child sex trafficking. In the post, which was shared under the popular subreddit r/conspiracy, a forum with over a million followers, the user suggests the possibility that expensive WFX Utility cabinets listed on Wayfair at prices ranging from $12–15k could potentially be a front for children being sold, out in the open, right under the public’s nose. The evidence for this assertion is the mere assumption that these prices are too high for furniture, and that the names of the cabinets themselves happen to correlate with the names of children who have gone missing.
It did not take long for this suggestion, which the user stated would make them “sick to my stomach if it’s true,” to spread like 5G covid waves on social media, with other users finding other weirdly over-priced items, and correlations to other conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate, and the term SRC USA. The Pizzagate theory has already been widely proven completely fabricated and false, yet continues to persist among fringe sleuths as something that has been covered up by the elites and the media. Much in the same fashion, despite evidence already being presented that shows the Wayfair scandal to have no real evidence to back it up, and statements from Wayfair explaining the items on their site, and fact checking sites such as Snopes already issuing declarations that the conspiracy theory is baloney, people continue to share it and presume that their ability to research information online somehow trumps teams of individuals with far more resources and experience at getting to the bottom of situations like this.
The main crux of the Wayfair conspiracy is that the names of the expensive cabinets seem to correlate to the first names of children who have gone missing. However, as reported by Snopes, this does not hold up to scrutiny, because one of the names in question, Alyvia, is associated with a case that has already been solved. The missing person Alyvia was found deceased. This is a tragedy and sharing this conspiracy theory online about her death is probably causing great harm to the family of the girl who had to deal with the reality of her loss. But of course, people don’t think about that, just like they don’t think about how all the items listed at expensive prices don’t have names like this, and some of them are clearly typos. Just like they don’t think about the repercussions of not wearing a mask during a pandemic. Just like they don’t think about the feelings of others when they shout All Lives Matter. Just like they don’t think about the consequences of yelling at store employees. The list goes on and on.
Another aspect of the conspiracy theory is the sku tag, SRC USA. People online stated that if you prefaced the Sku numbers of the items on Wayfair with this search term, and used a Russian search engine (Yandex, actually a stock image site), the search results returned pictures of young children in bathing suits. According to Snopes this is true, however, it does not correlate specifically to Wayfair items, as prefacing SRC USA with any random number will get you the same results. The term SRC USA is correlated specifically with Pizzagate, and Tom Hanks had shared a picture recently with that written on the pavement, which got him accused of also being in the pedophilia ring.
Included here is the official release by Wayfair on this conspiracy theory: “There is, of course, no truth to these claims,” a Wayfair spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. “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.”
The issuing of this statement, and their action to remove the items, of course only fueled the online speculation about the scandal. In the eyes of the tin foil hat crowd, trying to mitigate confusion and speculation about your company and its motives only further elucidates the proof of one’s guilt! Occam’s Razor holds no sway here. It’s obviously far more likely that a furniture dealer is a front for a sinister child trafficking plot, than it is likely that a furniture dealer allowed typos and inaccurate descriptions of products on a website full of thousands of items. Trust me, their furniture isn’t all that special anyway. Clearly, they’ve got something to hide.
In short, conspiracy theories all work in this same formula:
1. False correlation leads to spurious assumptions.
2. Assumptions lead to imaginative cause and effect scenario.
3. False scenario is easily disproved by facts.
4. Cognitive dissonance makes theorists dig in their heels.
5. Theory continues to thrive in fringe communities.
The key takeaway here is this: Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. Rely on trusted sources for your information. Stop sharing things that are not supported by facts.