In mid-November 2021, social media users shared a meme that contained a variation of a false rumor originating in 2020 — a rumor that claimed furniture store Wayfair was trafficking children inside “overpriced” items like cabinets.
A post in the r/conspiracy forum on the platform Reddit, for example, contained text that read, “Way fair item matching missing child,” and an image containing screenshots of an alleged wardrobe sold by Wayfair and a missing person bulletin from Baltimore police for a 15-year-old girl with the same surname as the wardrobe.
The gist of the conspiracy theory is that Wayfair items contain the names of missing children who are then purchased and shipped in Wayfair items carrying the same names. Although it’s true that 15-year-old Imani Towana Doswell (her first name was initially misspelled as “Emani”) went missing in January 2018, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department told Snopes in an email that the girl’s mother reported in February 2018 she had returned home safe.
Here is an image of the post on Reddit:
We were unable to locate an item on Wayfair’s website called a “Doswell Door Wardrobe.” We sent an email to Wayfair asking if it’s a real product, and will update this story when we receive a response.
Nevertheless, the item in the meme doesn’t match the name of a missing child, nor is there any evidence that Wayfair is or has been involved in child trafficking.
WJZ-TV. “Police Searching For Missing 15-Year-Old Girl.” 25 Jan. 2018, https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2018/01/25/missing-15-year-old/.
Robinson, KiMi. “Why Is Wayfair Accused of Trafficking Children? 7 Things to Know about the Conspiracy Theory.” Arizona Republic, 17 August 2020, https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/life/2020/08/17/wayfair-child-sex-trafficking-conspiracy-theory-reddit-qanon-facts-myths/3345421001/.