wayfair trafficking

This is why #wayfairchildtrafficking is trending on social media

If you are an unsuspecting resident who has gone to browse for home furnishings online in the past few days, you may have come across some very confusing headlines and trending hashtags connecting U.S. furniture website Wayfair and child trafficking (yes, you read that right).

The massive e-commerce company, which sources somewhere around 14 million items from thousands of third-party suppliers, has been, a la #pizzagate, accused of selling children under the guise of agreeably suspiciously overpriced homegoods.

The theory apparently originated on the /conspiracy subreddit on Thursday from a user who noted that the names of a number of storage cabinets on the website — which were listed from the brand WFX Utility with prices ranging from $12,699.99 to nearly $15,000 — eerily matched those of children who had recently gone missing in the U.S., such as Samiyah, Yaritza, Alyvia and Neriah.

People noted that other items, including desks and pillows, were similarly priced and likewise named.

Things got even weirder when social media users dug up other tangential but potentially corroborating tidbits, like the fact that a Georgia man arrested for human trafficking last month was wearing a Wayfair shirt in his mugshot, or that Wayfair faced backlash last year for providing furniture for ICE detention centres — centres that have lost track of thousands of children after they were placed.

There were also claims (that have since been debunked) showing a correlation between some of Wayfair's product SKU numbers and images of semi-nude children when typed into a Russian search engine. Some even found the company's name to be overtly incriminating.

The company has vigorously denied the claims and removed some of the items in question from its site, saying in a statement to media that "there is, of course, no truth to these claims. The products in question are industrial grade cabinets that are accurately priced."

It continued: "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 damage to the platform is likely irrecovable, however, considering how much traction the topic gained on social media in a matter of days.

Many are now associating Wayfair with Jeffrey Epstein and the child sex trafficking rings that celebrities like Donald Trump have been accused of having a hand in.

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