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- The photo shows Ghislaine Maxwell with George Bamford, the founder of a luxury watch company.
- Wayfair doesn’t list a president of operations on a webpage showing its leadership team.
- The company does have a “vice president of operations product innovation” named Doran Robinson and a chief operating officer named Thomas Netzer.
A baseless conspiracy theory about Wayfair, an online home goods retailer, is spreading widely on social media, claiming the company has been trafficking children through its website. An image being shared on Facebook seems to try to support that theory by connecting Wayfair to Ghislaine Maxwell, who was recently arrested on grounds she helped financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse minors.
"Wayfair president of operations Bill Hutcherson with Ghislaine Maxwell a known sex trafficker who was involved with Epstein," reads a description of the photo, which shows Maxwell and a man.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The photo was taken by Getty Images photographer Mark Mainz in December 2003 in New York City. The caption says: "Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell with an unidentified male companion attends the opening of the Asprey Flagship store on 5th Avenue." (See other photos from that night here.)
Wayfair doesn’t list a president of operations on its website though there is a "vice president of operations product innovation" named Doran Robinson, a different person than the man who appears in the photo with Maxwell. It also lists a chief operating officer named Thomas Netzer. No one named "Bill Hutcherson" is listed among Wayfair’s executive leadership team.
We rate this post Pants on Fire.
Facebook post, July 12, 2020
BuzzFeed News, The conspiracy theory about Wayfair spreading fast among lifestyle influencers on Instagram, July 13, 2020
New York Times, Ghislaine Maxwell tried to hide when the FBI knocked, prosecutors say, July 13, 2020
Getty Images, Asprey Flagship Store Opening on 5th Avenue, Dec. 8, 2003
Tatler, Asprey’s New York flagship launch, April 28, 2004
Bamford Watch Department, visite July 14, 2020
Wayfair, Executive leadership, visited July 14, 2020
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