How Wayfair got caught up in a false human trafficking conspiracy
Home goods company Wayfair says a bizarre human trafficking conspiracy theory that started with some pricey garage storage cabinets is not true.
It all started when someone noticed WFX Utility collection on Wayfair for $12,000 and up.
That, combined with the fact that items had first names that happened to be the same as reported missing persons, such as “Yaritza Storage Cabinet,” lead a theory that Wayfair was somehow involved in human trafficking.
Though there were slightly inconsistent claims about how, exactly, such a conspiracy would work, most “theories” appeared to suggest the cabinet was a “cover” for buying a person — and apparently that person’s name or some kind of label was indicated in the product name.
The claim was circulated on a variety of sites, including by members of QAnon.
Wayfair said there is no truth to the claims — while also clarifying that the prices shown are accurate and the cabinets are very high quality.
The company says it pulled the products offline to edit the names and clarify why they are so expensive.
The deduction that these listening somehow meant Wayfair was involved in human trafficking is a huge stretch given that most of the “proof” offered involved matching names in the product titles to missing persons databases — considering it’s probably possible to find a missing person with almost any name in the database.