On Friday, a conspiracy theory regarding online furniture and home-goods retailer Wayfair quickly made the rounds on the internet.
Reddit user PrincessPeach1987 asked the conspiracy subreddit r/conspiracy, which has 1.3 million members,
“Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection? Or are these just extremely overpriced cabinets? (Note the names of the cabinets) this makes me sick to my stomach if it’s true :(“
The Reddit user described themselves to Newsweek as someone “involved in a local organization that helps victims of human trafficking” that is “suspicious most of the time now.” They said the purpose of the post wasn’t to accuse Wayfair of wrongdoing but rather to “see if anyone else had more details.”
The conspiracy theory immediately exploded, even becoming a top trend on Twitter throughout most of the day on Friday and Saturday, as internet sleuths began to chime in with their own theories.
A search for Wayfair yielded endless results of tweets containing images of overpriced furniture and furnishings along with photos of missing children who have the same name as products on Wayfair.
A Twitter user believes they may have cracked the meaning behind the name Wayfair, albeit through different spellings. The user believes Waif, which is defined as a stray person or animal, and fare, which is defined as the price charged to transport a person, may be a subliminal message in the company’s name.
A tweet by Angela Stanton-King, who is the goddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr’s niece and is the Republican candidate for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, asked if the timing of the theory has something to do with Ghislaine Maxwell’s recent arrest. “Did Ghislane Maxwell tip authorities off about Wayfair,” Stanton-King tweeted.
One Twitter user even had a humorous take on the subject, tweeting “Some people still think corona virus is a hoax and don’t believe that covering your mouth helps slow the spread of germs… but after like 2 tweets are absolutely convinced Wayfair is selling kids inside cabinets for 10,000 bucks. God Bless this great nation.”
Rather than ignore the conspiracy theory, Wayfair decided to address it.
“There is, of course, no truth to these claims,” Wayfair said in a statement.
“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.”
Wayfair has been one of the hottest stocks since the market bottomed in March, increasing from a low of just over $20 per share to close at just under $225 per share on Friday. Shares of Wayfair largely ignored the growing conspiracy theory as it began to spread on Friday.
While the conspiracy theory about Wayfair sounds bizarre, if 2020 has taught us anything so far it’s that basically anything can happen and as crazy as it sounds, it’s likely to be outdone by something even crazier next.