Social media users looking to find a celebrity to rope into the bogus Wayfair child trafficking conspiracy theory have found a surprising one. They now believe Tom Hanks was involved in some way because of an Instagram photo he published in July 2016. One of the aspects of this theory claims that product SKUs can be used to find photos of young girls on a Russian search engine, which is how Hanks is allegedly linked.
The whole theory started on July 9, when a Reddit user theorized that the industrial-strength cabinets, which cost thousands of dollars on the Wayfair website, were being used to sell children on the popular online furniture retailer’s website. As Wayfair has said, there is no truth to this, but the theory snowballed and quickly made its way to Twitter. Once there, people found other overpriced items, which they believed was only more proof that Wayfair was involved in a child trafficking scheme.
Another alleged hint of the scheme involves the stock keeping unit number (SKU) for some associated items. According to Snopes, some Twitter users claimed that if you typed “src USA” and an SKU into the Russian search engine Yandex, you would see photos of young girls. However, the same photos will come up if you type “src USA” and any random numbers. Other Twitter users pointed out that if you type “src” before other countries, like Mexico, similar photos would show.
None of this seems to have anything to do with Hanks, the most beloved American actor working today. However, some conspiracy theorists dug deep into Hanks’ Instagram archives and found a strange photo. On July 18, 2016, Hanks shared a picture of a glove he found lying on the ground in Red Bluff, California. “Gimme five!” Hanks wrote in the caption. On the ground, next to the glove appears to read “SRC USA” written in chalk. The comments for the photo are packed with people either trying to figure out what this has to do with the Wayfair theory or heartbroken that Hanks might be linked to it.
Wayfair has already denied any involvement in a child trafficking scheme. “There is, of course, no truth to these claims,” the company said in a statement Friday. “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 the site to rename them and to provide a more in-depth description and photos that accurately depict the product to clarify the price point.”