Why conspiracy theories are hurting real child trafficking victims

Back in July, I discussed the conspiracy theory that accused Wayfair Furniture of trafficking children. To summarize, some whackadoodle on Reddit thought Wayfair was selling children because some of their pieces had similar names to children who have disappeared. This didn’t stop a bunch of other whackadoodles from spreading this falsehood online as fact. Sadly, ridiculous urban legends and conspiracy theories about child trafficking have become the new in thing among the tin foil hat crowd because of QAnon.

So you may ask, what does it hurt if some Karens are spreading bullshit on Facebook? It could hurt a lot of people actually.

Polaris Project runs the national human trafficking hotline (1 (888) 373- 7888). They say that when the Wayfair allegations happened, their phone lines became overloaded by people reporting Wayfair as child traffickers. This potentially prevented actual trafficking victims from calling and asking for help or even being rescued from actual traffickers.

I highly recommend everyone reading Polaris Project’s Human Trafficking Rumors page.

Maybe we should start spreading information on social media instead of misinformation. Just because something posted online fits in your narrow Facebook echo chamber of political views doesn’t make it the truth.

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