Man who sent mass shooting and bomb threats to Merriam-Webster over gender-neutral entries pleads guilty

A disgruntled man upset over the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s update of their definitions of gender pronouns and adjectives to make them more fluid has pleaded guilty in federal court to uttering bomb threats and threatening to kill company employees in a mass shooting.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts alleges that Jeremy David Hanson, 34, of Rossmoor, Calif., anonymously sent “various threatening messages and comments demonstrating bias against specific gender identities submitted through the ‘Contact Us’ page. us” of her website and in the comments section on her web pages that matched word entries for ‘Girl’ and ‘Woman’,” between the dates of October 2 and October 8, 2021. Authorities later identified the user as Hanson.

“Specifically, on October 2, 2021, Hanson used the handle ‘@anonYmous’ to post the following comment on the dictionary website’s definition of ‘female’: ‘It is absolutely disgusting that Merriam-Webster is now telling lies egregious and promotes anti-scientific propaganda. ‘Gender identity’ does not exist. The fool who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot,” authorities said in the statement.

Shortly after, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Hanson sent them another message, this time through their website’s “Contact Us” page.

“You [sic] the headquarters should be shot down and bombarded. It is sickening that you gave in to the Marxist, anti-science cultural agenda…and changed the definition of ‘woman’ as part of left-wing efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality,” reads in part. the second online threat. . “It would be poetic justice for someone to storm your offices and shoot the place.”

A third threat was sent to Merriam-Webster as a comment on their website on October 8, 2021 which read, “I will shoot and bombard your offices for lying and creating false definitions,” the message reads. “Boys aren’t girls, and girls aren’t boys… I’m going to murder your best editor.”

Following these specific and credible threats, Merriam-Webster closed its offices in Springfield, MA, as well as in New York for five days.

Hanson also admitted in court this week that he often chose the subject of his threatening communications because of various people’s “sex, gender identity and/or sexual orientation,” the court said. US Attorney’s office.

“Every member of our community has the right to live and exist authentically as themselves without fear. Hate-motivated threats of violence that violate this right are by no means tolerated in Massachusetts,” said U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “This sentencing represents my office’s commitment to protect targeted communities and to bring accountability and justice when those who aim to endanger act on their hate.”

Hanson pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of interstate communication of threatening communications to commit violence against Merriam-Webster employees, which carries a potential sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine, according to a statement released by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

“Jeremy Hanson is now a convicted felon after he admitted making hate-motivated threats of violence related to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division. “If you believe you are a victim or witness of similar behavior, we encourage you to report it to the FBI so that we can hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable for their actions, as we did in this case.”

Hanson is scheduled to be sentenced on January 5, 2023.

ABC News

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