Man arrested for threatening Merriam-Webster in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A 34-year-old California man was arrested last week for allegedly making threats toward Springfield-based Merriam-Webster for including references to gender identity in its online dictionary.
Jeremy Hanson was arrested and charged in Springfield federal court last week. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Hanson is accused of sending numerous online threats to the company through the website’s comments section and contact page between October 2 and October 8, 2021.
Hanson allegedly used the handle “@anonYmous” to make threatening comments for entries that included references to gender identity, including “woman” and “girl.”
The Department of Justice says Hanson wrote, “You [sic] headquarters should be shot up and bombed. It is sickening that you have caved to the cultural Marxist, anti-science tranny [sic] 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.”
Due to these threats, the company closed their offices in Springfield and New York City for five business days.
“Hate-filled threats and intimidations have no place in our society,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “We believe Hanson sent a multitude of anonymous threatening and despicable messages related to the LGBTQ community that were intended to evoke fear and division. My office and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate threats against members of our communities, no matter what corner of the internet they’re sent from. Perpetrators will be identified, arrested, and held accountable in federal court.”
The investigation identified numerous other related threats, including to the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Land O’ Lakes, Hasbro, Inc., IGN Entertainment, the President of the University of North Texas, two professors at Loyola Marymount University and a New York City rabbi.