Smartphone with Etsy logo on the screen, shopping cart and parcels.

Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock (Licensed)

You’ll never guess why the QAnon crowd is going after Etsy

The claim is total nonsense.


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Dec 19, 2023   Updated on Dec 20, 2023, 7:13 am CST

In each edition of web_crawlr we have exclusive original content every day. On Mondays our Tech Reporter Mikael Thalen debunks the most wild conspiracy theories swirling around the web in his “One Dumb Conspiracy” column. If you want to read columns like this before everyone else, subscribe to web_crawlr to get your daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

Etsy has somehow become the latest target of conspiracy theorists due to the belief that the company is involved in human trafficking.

Sound familiar? Conspiracy theorists said the same thing about the online furniture seller Wayfair in 2020. At the time, followers of QAnon noticed that Wayfair was advertising expensive industrial cabinets that used different female names for different versions.

Conspiracy theorists immediately surmised that the most logical explanation was that the cabinets contained children and were being clandestinely advertised on their website.

Now, conspiracy theorists are suggesting nearly the same thing, despite the Wayfair claim being thoroughly debunked.

This time, the fiasco began after a conspiracy theorist on X shared a screenshot of an Etsy listing for a picture of a pizza. The picture, which could be downloaded in digital form, was priced at $9,000.

Any strange references to pizza, conspiracy theorists believe, are code for pedophilia. Therefore, purchasing the picture would allow someone to obtain a child. Of course, just as before, the claim is total nonsense.

Nevertheless, prominent conspiracy theorists began spreading the allegation across social media. QAnon supporter Liz Cronkin amplified the nonsense after posting a long screed on the topic to X.

“There are a lot of suspicious listing on Etsy that have people wondering if child porn or children are for sale for sex on the e-commerce site,” she wrote.

Even former U.S. General Michael Flynn, also tied to the QAnon community, demanded Etsy provide “an explanation for these suspicious posts.”

Etsy has steered clear of the conspiracy theory thus far and has not released a public comment. Numerous Etsy users have argued that the high-priced pictures were actually intended to mock NFTs.

Either way, the issue continues to spread and shows no signs of dying down soon. But don’t worry, fans of Etsy can continue using the website without fear of being drawn into a secret human trafficking ring that only your QAnon-loving uncle was smart enough to uncover. 

Why it matters

While laughable, such conspiracy theories have proven dangerous in the past. Pizzagate, which claimed that Hillary Clinton was running child trafficking rings out of a pizza restaurant’s non-existent basement, ultimately led to a man shooting up the joint.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Share this article
*First Published: Dec 19, 2023, 6:00 am CST