Man Who Threatened Merriam-Webster Is Sentenced

Jeremy Hanson will likely spend an additional 4 months in prison
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2023 9:10 AM CDT
Man Who Threatened Merriam-Webster Is Sentenced
A Merriam-Webster dictionary sits atop their citation files at the dictionary publisher's offices on Dec. 9, 2014, in Springfield, Mass.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

A California man who pleaded guilty to sending repeated death threats to Merriam-Webster because he was upset with its definitions on gender identity has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison. The sentence handed down to Jeremy David Hanson by a federal court in Massachusetts on Thursday also includes 30 days of home confinement, three years of probation, and mental health treatment, reports the AP. The 35-year-old made the threats anonymously through the Massachusetts-based company's "contact us" page online and in its comments section between Oct. 2 and Oct. 8, 2021.

An example, regarding the definition of "female": "There is no such thing as 'gender identity.' The imbecile who wrote this entry should be hunted down and shot." NBC News reports that due to time already served, he is expected to spend four months in prison. Hanson's actions caused the company to shut down its offices in Massachusetts and New York City for five days. As part of his plea, which saw him plead guilty to two counts of interstate communication of threatening communications to commit violence, Hanson also admitted to sending similar threats to other targets, including the Walt Disney Co., the governor of California, the president of the University of North Texas, Land O' Lakes, Hasbro, and the ACLU. (More Merriam-Webster stories.)

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