Man arrested for threatening to ‘bomb’ Merriam-Webster over trans-inclusive definitions

A Californian man is facing charges for threatening to “bomb” and kill Merriam-Webster employees over the publisher’s pro-trans definitions.

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Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. (Creative Commons photo/Noah1806)

Jeremy David Hanson, of Rossmoor, threatened to “hunt down and shoot” workers of the oldest dictionary publishers in the US, procecutors claimed.

The 34-year-old sent online threats to the company based in Springfield, Massachusetts, over entries such as “girl” and “woman“, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement Friday (22 April).

He faces up to five years in jail or a thumping fine of $250,000 after he was charged with one count of interstate communication of threats to commit violence. Hanson will appear before the US District Court in Massachusets next Friday.

Using the handle “@anonYmous”, Hanson left a rabble of “despicable” messages and comments on the company’s website. Between warnings he would “bomb” the company offices, he blasted Merriam-Webster for changing certain word definitions.

“It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster now tells blatant lies and promotes anti-science propaganda,” he wrote in one alleged comment. “There is no such thing as ‘gender identity’.

“The imbecile who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot.”

Bosses at Merriam-Webster were forced to close their Springfield offices for five days, wary of the threats to their staff’s lives.

Man threatened to ‘bomb’ Merriam-Webster over its ‘anti-science t****y agenda’

Many anti-trans campaigners have sought to defend their bigotry by cutting and pasting one common dictionary defintion of a woman, as in an “adult human female“.

But under another definition of “female” in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is “having a gender identity that is opposite of male”.

Many of the entries Hanson took aim of are inclusive of trans identities in this way, such as a “girl” being a “person whose gender identity is female”.

He also railed against “boy” and “trans woman“, according to an affidavit filed by a Federal Bureau of Investigations agent this month.

From 2 October to 8 October 2021, Hanson spewed various anonymous comments and messages to Merriam-Webster. He also allegedly sent the company various barbs through the “Contact Us” section on its website.

Writing on 2 October in Merriam-Webster’s webform, Hanson seethed: “You [sic] headquarters should be shot up and bombed.

“It is sickening that you have caved to the cultural Marxist, anti-science t****y agenda and altered the definition of ‘female’ as part of the Left’s efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality.

“You evil Marxists should all be killed. It would be poetic justice to have someone storm your offices and shoot up the place, leaving none of you commies alive.”

He threatened in another alleged “Contact Us” form to “bomb your offices for lying and creating fake”, prosecutors said.

In October, Merriam-Webster reported the threats to the FBI, the affidavit added. Agents tracked Hanson down through his IP address.

“Hate-filled threats and intimidations have no place in our society,” the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachael Rollins said in the statement.

She added that Hanson is accused of sending “threatening and despicable messages related to the LGBTQ community that were intended to evoke fear and division”.

But Merriam-Webster was not Hanson’s sole alleged target. Prosecutors have tied him to a laundry bag of other messages sent to top human rights groups, companies and academics. Many of which he accused of being “Marxist”.

Other related threats included: the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, food co-op Land O’Lakes, toymaker Hasbro, video game news outlet IGN Entertainment and a New York City rabbi.

Merriam-Webster has revised many of its entries in light of the ever-changing – and, more often than not, decades-old – definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Jeremy Hanson is accused of making hate-fueled threats of violence that crossed a line,” Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, said.

“Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but repeatedly threatening to kill people, as has been alleged, takes it to a new level.”

 

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