Pizzagate 2.0? Wayfair forced to deny bizarre rumors its ‘overpriced cabinets’ are child trafficking front
Furniture marketplace Wayfair was forced to address accusations of sex trafficking after an elaborate Pizzagate-esque conspiracy drawing connections between the names of ‘overpriced’ items and ‘missing children’ went viral.
The speculation was apparently kicked off on Reddit with user PrincessPeach1987 posting a screenshot of the furniture seller’s WFX Utility cabinet collection to the site’s r/conspiracy forum that highlighted the sky-high prices (between $12,699.99 and $14,499.99 for a single cabinet) and the odd names – like Samiyah, Alyvia, Yaritza, and Neriah – which allegedly matched the names of missing children.Also on rt.com ‘Cool’ people knew Ghislaine Maxwell supplied ‘underage girls for sex,’ Reddit’s ex-CEO says… takes back revelation immediately
“Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection? Or are these just extremely overpriced cabinets?” she asked. Amateur sleuths combing Wayfair’s site immediately found oddities well beyond the cabinets section, including absurdly-priced throw pillows and “one of a kind” rugs that also appeared to share the names of missing children.
The rumors quickly spiraled out of control on social media, with some confused users claiming Wayfair was actually shipping trafficked children inside the pricey cabinets – something absent from the original posting – while others suggested plugging the SKU numbers of the suspect merchandise into a search engine would turn up photos of the child “for sale” under a particular product name. Still others observed Wayfair had started scrubbing its site of the “incriminating” material – surely an admission of guilt!
People are suspecting that they're selling people in these large boxes/storage cabinets on Wayfair. They all are the same product but have different names, all female names. And they are all priced $10-15k more than the cabinet sold elsewhere. #ChildTraffickingpic.twitter.com/xD1PEY8RfN— A🔥C🚔A🔥B (@UnicornPlushy) July 9, 2020
Despite a lack of any factual proof behind the disturbing allegations, the story got so much attention that Wayfair issued a statement denying them. A site spokeswoman told Fox Business the company had “temporarily removed the products” in order to “rename them and to provide a more in-depth description and photos” to justify the high prices. “There is, of course, no truth to these claims,” the statement read, calling the items “accurately-priced” and citing their “industrial grade” as the reason for the high dollar amounts.
One more statement from WayfairAbout pillow prices: "That is a glitch and something we're working to address." "To further clarify 'industrial-grade,' these products are industrial-grade, high-gauge stainless steel cabinets made in the USA primarily for commercial use."— Audrey Conklin (@audpants) July 10, 2020
As for the $9,999 throw pillows and $15,999 baby photo albums, those were due to a “glitch,” Wayfair said.
And “industrial grade” throw pillows too. Oh wait, you just did an emergency update to rename them and changed the price too. That’s some deep discounts🤷♂️ But why change the names too? Nothing fishy, sure. pic.twitter.com/K8q2lUMTox— Elvis K (@President46Yang) July 11, 2020
Similar “utility-grade” cabinets to those sold on Wayfair’s site retail for under $1,000, and while a few users ventured that the absurd prices were in lieu of listing the items as “out of stock,” others pushed back against that explanation.
That still doesn’t explain all the matching names. The match missing children. Guilty— Nichole Burklund (@NicABur) July 10, 2020
Please 🙄 I operate plenty of shops for companies way smaller than Wayfair, and there's plenty of ways to take an out of stock product off the site without pricing it at $15,000+ wtf. It sounded good https://t.co/vLf7zXFB5Z— jaygust (@jay__aye) July 10, 2020
Unsurprisingly, the company’s denials only fueled further speculation, as pedo-hunters demanded to know why Wayfair was changing product names and memory-holing the “evidence,” while others merely rolled their eyes at the idea of taking the site’s word on whether or not it was trafficking children.
As someone who worked at one of the top 3 ecommerce platforms, I can state that extremely overpriced items are certainly a vehicle for money laundering.But usually the products aren't really ever sold or shipped... and definitely don't get sold and shipped with humans inside 🤦🏽♀️— random facts girl (@soychicka) July 11, 2020
Several pointed to the rapid-response "fact-checks" by Snopes and the Poynter Institute as "proof" Wayfair was up to no good.
That's like asking a robber of a bank if he was involved in any way with the robbery.Statement from a liar: "Absolutely Not"Newsweek: Oh! OK then! The End.— Scrappy-Doo aka Harpazo-girl#̷̧̢̼̤͈̼̫̋̾Q̸̼͔͕̗͚̟̉̄̄ (@Scrappy94546226) July 11, 2020
A glitch, they did an extremely poor job explaining that, as they didn't mention any other products unreasonably priced. They also were very vague. Just saying "its industrial grade" is not an explanation, it just shouldn't cost so much! But "of course it not true" LOL— Maple🍁🔞 (@PrincessMaple3) July 11, 2020
The furniture retailer has come under fire before, facing a boycott and an employee walkout over selling beds to the Trump administration’s immigrant detention centers. However, the latest round of allegations makes Pizzagate –the claim that leaked emails from failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign contained coded references to pedophilia – look positively pedestrian. With deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell arrested just last month, however, it’s easy to see why child trafficking might be on people’s minds.
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