Friday, June 4, 2021

TikTokers spread a baseless rumor that a company selling glowsticks on Amazon was involved in human trafficking


The conspiracy theorists posed this question to their audience: Who would buy a party hat or glow stick or bubble gun for thousands of dollars?


These TikTok video creators missed a crucial detail on these Amazon listings. These were prices for bulk orders — and the pricing would change for each listing based on the quantity a user selected. 


 "I thought, it's TikTok, let's just kind of let this all blow over," said Momin, recounting his reaction when the messages first started coming in. "Then that one user got millions of views. It's obvious he was depicting the product incorrectly and just putting conspiracies out there." 


"We had seven police officers come [to our warehouse] in a span of three days, back to back to back," Momin tells me. "I told the officers, 'Look, you can come in any time and just walk around in the warehouse and do what you've got to do, but just don't bother us anymore.' It was getting to a point where it was ridiculous. And then we had the commissioner come and he apologized. They said they received calls."