PizzaGate and Wayfair


Gabbie Dew, Photographer

In the month of July, Wayfair was popular on social media sites for having suspicious items on their website. Personal and verified accounts took to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even Tiktok to point out that Wayfair had high-priced furniture and other products with names of missing children and unusual dimensions and weights that seemed they may be selling more than home-goods.

  People immediately suspected that Wayfair might have a part in trafficking children. It was suggested that by entering a promo code, having a specific delivery method, or being a Wayfair Professional account holder, buyers could purchase children. Some even believed that this theory could be related to another popular conspiracy: PizzaGate. 

PizzaGate is a conspiracy theory that went viral before the 2016 election, that claimed the Clintons were a part of a global child-trafficking ring. Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta’s, email was hacked and the messages were posted on 4Chan where “cheese pizza” was analyzed as pedophilic slang. An establishment called Comet Ping Pong Pizza was allegedly involved in the trafficking ring. These stories influenced a man by the name of Edgar Madison Welch to walk into the pizzeria and point a firearm in the direction of an employee. The employee was able to get away safely and notify police. The incident caused social media sites to take action and remove anything that involved the words ‘PizzaGate’ or mentioned it and it wasn’t heard of in the media again until now.

The conspiracy began to thrive again, also in July, due to curious teenagers on TikTok and Justin Bieber. A viewer on Bieber’s Instagram live commented, asking him to touch his hat if he had been a victim of the child-trafficking ring. The artist adjusted the front of his beanie, which caused fans to immediately begin analyzing his actions and music videos. The representatives of Bieber never made a response. 

The story goes deeper than Justin Bieber touching his hat, though. While the conspiracy was once focused on the Clintons, it now involves powerful business people, politicians, and Hollywood elites such as Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Chrissy Teigan, and many other popular celebrities. Now that PizzaGate is fueled by a younger generation, it has made its way back onto social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The theory went from being mainly focused on in the United States, videos and posts have now become globally popular and reached as far as Italy, Brazil, and Turkey. TikTok posts including #pizzagate now have over eighty-two million views, comments and like have spiked to more than 800,000 on Facebook and over 600,00 on Instagram.

YouTube has even had its fair share of the conspiracy, including a documentary called Out of the Shadows, that explains the conspiracy and claims that it is not fake. It now has over fifteen million views. Due to community guidelines, the video has now been removed from the recommendation category and you are unable to search for it, you must enter the link for the video. 

News stations and social media sites have since tried to keep down the conversation of PizzaGate and Wayfair has debunked the idea of their company trafficking children. “Recognizing that the photos and descriptions provided by the supplier did not adequately explain the high price point, we temporarily removed the products from the site to rename them and provide a more in-depth description and photos that accurately depict the product to clarify the price point.” The company stated. TikTok has removed the PizzaGate hashtag and Facebook is releasing new community guidelines that could go against posting about PizzaGate. 

For now, the theory remains a conspiracy, but the conversation has not died down. Some still believe the story has not been fully debunked and that there is still more to learn about it. Could this be just another crazy conspiracy theory, or could this become one of the most groundbreaking discoveries of the decade?