I’ve been limiting my social media use to allow for some sleep and completely missed #wayfairgate till this morning. If a week is a long time in politics then twelve hours is a lifetime in conspiracies. This one was gestated, birthed and debunked ( a mark of honour in conspiracy circles) whilst I slept.
By any measure of production time – that’s fast.
Details of the conspiracy can be found here. In a nutshell, wayfair’s selling some seriously over priced furniture including several cabinets that have been personified and given female names. Do you know who else has names? All the children on the missing persons data list. Before you can say “What do these unrelated facts have in common?’ hundreds of tweets have been sent and footage of the expensive wardrobe has been fashioned into short videos about Wayfair the child trafficking epicentre of the bright web.
From this point onwards all attempts to negate the conspiracy are futile. ‘Wayfair deny they are trafficking children in their cabinets’. What else would a company fronting human trafficking say? Fact-checkers flagging the story as false, in under a day, are evidence at how effective the cover up.
I should probably confess to you that I am something of a conspiracy theorist, with emphasis on the theory part. I have witnessed and experienced enough corruption and incompetence in my own life to know there’s a lot of it about. I have a keen personal interest in child protection and am aware of multiple occasions when the state has failed in its duty of care to children with devastating consequences. To that end it is true to say that agents of the U.K. state (and this is reflective of a world wide trend) have been complicit in the trafficking of children from stable homes to the arms of paedophile rings. Anyone interested in such injustice could check out The Women’s Collation on facebook, a group that work tirelessly to expose such hidden truths. Alternatively, Maggie Oliver, a woman famed for exposing the Rochdale scandal. Even a cursory glance at either page will give you some insight into the years of collating data, hounding sources, seeking freedom of information requests and chasing dead leads that are needed in order to to hold even one peado to account.
The idea that you can bring down a global network with screen shots and facebook shares would be laughable, if the subject itself wasn’t so serious. Conspiracies gone mainstream and the resulting product is so diluted as not only to be ineffective, but to be counter effective. It gives conspiracy theories a bad name.
A recent report by The Centre for Countering Digital Hate found that the anti-vax industry is worth a billion dollars a year which points to a level of funding authentic conspiracies couldn’t hope to afford.
Confused, angry, scared people are being sold a steady stream of ever more absurd lies which they swallow whole because they are burnt out by greedy governing, polarised politics and the abysmal failure of mainstream media and so called independent agencies to hold anyone to account. The only people they can trust are fellow keyboard warriors and a community of dispirited individuals with a common cause is born. And what starts out as a quest for truth quickly becomes a quest for survival. And the rules for survival in online conspiracies are simple.
Believe. Believe. Believe.