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.”
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.”
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.
Regarding these other products, a Wayfair representative told Mashable, “I can confirm that is a glitch and something we're working to address.”
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.
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.
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.”