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SEO Terrorism in the UK

Type the following individual search terms into Google: Nadine Dorries, @nadinedorriesmp, Dominic Wightman, Dennis Rice. You’ll notice certain websites and blogs crop up regularly as search results; even higher than results of some national newspapers and broadcasting outlets. The results have 3 things in common – they are created by trolls, portray a very negative message & they have been heavily search engine optimized, so negatives found always trump positives buried later on in search results.

There are many other names we could add here who are also victims of the same cluster of search source results.

Take the one example of @nadinedorriesmp. @nadinedorriesmp is the Twitter name of the British Member of Parliament for Mid Bedfordshire, Nadine Dorries. The first two results that appear on Google are Twitter accounts in her name. But they are nothing to do with her. One is entitled “A massive T**T”. Both accounts are what are known as sock-puppet accounts and were created purposefully by trolls and operated regularly by these trolls to embarrass and torment Nadine Dorries.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. In short, it’s manipulating a site so that search engine crawlers push it up rankings. This is achieved through various means – one of which is adding links from other sites, particularly powerful sites, known as link-building, to specific keywords. In this case the SEO has added links to keywords which are the actual names of his victims.

The Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) behind the current high presence on search engines of these negative stories and fake social media accounts is notorious. We shall not name him as the UK authorities have advised against naming him whilst he is the subject of ongoing investigations and legal actions.

Let’s just say he has become even more tarnished this week after one of his victims – Nadine Dorries MP – revealed in the press that she has been the victim of this SEO/Stalker for several years and he has caused her life to be “a living hell”. The courageous actions of Nadine Dorries in exposing this man have led to dozens more of the SEO’s victims coming forward. To read up more about what he has done to Nadine Dorries, see here & here & here & here & here.

The SEO in question has a blog he set up way back in 2001 (which he has cultivated to make it powerful on search engines) which he can use as his main source for power links to boost the position on search engines of all the negative posts and stories. He then spreads those links – and borrows links from other websites – to the negative sites of his trolling crew so their negative stories also feature high on searches against the names of his victims. Soon, a victim’s online reputation is smothered by his bile.

The SEO in question is an arch manipulator – someone who is clearly obsessed and seriously disturbed – who manipulates his crew to seek to “destroy” the reputations of others. The most cunning of his many manipulations is the manipulation of search engines to achieve his goals.

How does his behaviour affect the lives of the victims he optimizes slander on? In short, the SEO has almost achieved his aim of destroying the reputations he sought to annihilate by SEO. How do they feel about this? What can they do to fight back?

We spoke to one of his victims, Dominic Wightman (pictured), who is a businessman (and a shareholder in Allied Newspapers) living in the UK. He claims that the SEO and his crew of trolls have cost him a fortune in terms of cash, wasted time and personal stress. His story is shocking and makes one wonder about why legislation has not caught up with these SEO terrorists/trolls:

“I first came across this SEO in 2008 – he focused on me because of my links to the Conservative Party –  and he launched an attack on me in his blog in the same year. I happen to be the only ‘Dominic Wightman’ on the planet so it was pretty easy for the SEO to wreck my online reputation. Another attacking blog piece followed then another. Soon the first couple of pages of my Google and other search engine results were replete with his slander; some of which he passed to his associated cabal of trolls to post online. The most vile filth he posted about me he used proxies for; meaning he would be unlikely to ever get traced.

The immediate effect of his posts was to anger me. I thought what right does this oik have to dare write this filth about me? I had to explain to colleagues – and worst of all, to members of my own family – that the slander posted about me online was not true. I had to go to the police who were sympathetic and made me keep a log of all the slander but they were powerless to intervene as the slander that was being posted was cleverly written so as not to break existing laws. I was lucky in that my closest colleagues and my family knew of this man – he was well known locally as a stalker and a nutter and many good people had complained about him. The police advised me to attack the man and his associates using a civil case but at the time their assets weren’t worth much more than a Mars Bar.

There were two years that passed of regular slander posting by these trolls. I tried rebuttal – which certainly annoyed the SEO and his troll friends – but it just meant more slander was produced. I found if I was silent he became paranoid and posted more filth. If I posted rebuttals he’d post more filth also.

Soon the first 5 pages of a name search of me were full of his lies. I tried setting up Linked In and other accounts and they did rank well for a week or two but then the negative stuff seemed to jump above it every time I spent some time trying to outdo the negative stuff. So I called Google and Bing and they just came back with the freedom of speech line – I love freedom of speech and I love Google & Bing, so I decided to grin and bear this. Others before me paid a far higher price for freedom of speech, I thought. I guess that’s the Catholic in me – we’re all capable of being martyrs.

Then things got far more serious.

In 2011 I had a business deal collapse because one of my clients did a search of my name on the search engines at a crucial time in the deal-making process. The deal was worth a considerable amount of money. I called to explain about my stalker and the things written about me were his vile concoctions but by that time the client had found another partner. In the same week a business competitor used the negative Google results to attack me and my business. Then, worse than that – I have a dear and brilliant friend who is mentally ill after a breakdown at Oxford who depends on his frail seventy year old mum who is his carer. The SEO and a troll associated with him started peppering the friend’s mother with slanderous emails about me. They then emailed fellow company directors with similar slander. It was like a bombshell a day from them. They emailed a man in his 80’s who they knew had angina and posted a negative piece about me with him included. I was taking calls from targeted people all the time and I was getting sick. One day I had had enough. The police were doing nothing. My friend’s mother called me in tears to say my mentally ill friend was scared stiff about these stalkers. I felt powerless.

That was when – under all that pressure – I made a mistake. I sent an article to the Westminster Journal going public about my tormentors. In the article I mentioned jokingly something to the effect of, “If I saw these (trolls) loitering on my driveway I’d run them down in my Tory Blue Range Rover”. The line was metaphorical – it could certainly have been better chosen.

I sent off the first copy to the Westminster journal uploader based in the Far East. I then went about editing the article and actually added to that line the words “albeit a fantastical dream” as a kind of disclaimer. The uploader posted the first version and only changed it to the second version the next day when he woke up. Because of time difference the article was up in its first version without the edits for some hours. I always knew that in PC Britain it was important to watch one’s words. Then what happened was bizarre……

Two weeks later I had a call from Surrey Police. I was asked to go down to the police station for an interview, which I did. The policeman involved was a decent bloke and very affable – a bit embarrassed I felt – and sat me down to talk with me. I didn’t think I needed a lawyer. I was always taught to be open and honest with the police, which I was. I admitted writing the article and I mentioned the disclaiming edit. I was slapped on the wrist for being a dumbass, told to choose my words more carefully in future and I was offered the opportunity to take a caution for “malicious communications”, which I quickly refused (in the UK accepting a caution gives you a criminal record). I told the policeman I’d prefer to risk a summons than get the caution and he totally understood. The policeman and I shook hands. Both of us presumed that would be that. I told him I’d be cleverer in future and somehow not react to these sick, twisted fools and bade him good day.

The next week a summons arrived from the local magistrate’s court! I had been summoned to defend the “malicious communication”. I was flabbergasted that the CPS had so much time on their hands to bother about little old me.

At first I thought I’d been “done over” by the friendly policeman but what I now know had happened is this – the SEO had written out a vile statement saying he feared for his life and thought I was genuine in running him down in my Tory Blue Range Rover (since he’s a stalker, he knew full well I drove a red Jag). He had the gall to claim that he was now the victim! Some person at the CPS had swallowed the “victim” statement and decided to take the matter to court.

So, I instructed a lawyer, lost even more money and time – the stress was huge on me and my family – over six months preparing my defence. I’d never been to court – never even had a parking ticket let alone a speeding ticket – and I was now having to defend my probity because of some stalker SEO who had none. Let’s just say I saw all this as a test to strengthen me – the only positive of being the victim of stalkers like the SEO is that you definitely have to grow balls of steel.

Finally in month 7 of this pallaver - after my lawyer had written to the CPS to clarify the law to them – someone more awake at the CPS saw sense and dropped the case.

In the meantime I started to think smart. I realized that the SEO and his troll friends were seriously affecting me, my health, my work colleagues and – worse – my family. I sought the advice of lawyers, experts and other search engine optimizers. I even started a collaboration with a young search engine optimizer and supplied him a load of clients just so he would focus on improving search results for my name. I’m not technical but I learnt how SEO works.

For a year – between 2012 and 2013 – the stalking SEO’s negative results were below normal articles / posts about me. Optimizing positive results with the young optimizer to beat his highly-linked negative results cost me thousands of pounds. In late 2013 I had collected enough evidence about the links on the negative posts, as compared to links on the positive posts, to show that the SEO had been optimizing his negative results of me. In other words this man had been using SEO to stalk me.

I began to see my stalker as an SEO terrorist. That is what he is. I saw his work in link detail and saw him for what he really is. He’s a middle-aged saddo who sits in some dusty old room and adds links to negative articles about me and others then posts more filth about us online …. offline his life is a mess …. online he thinks he’s some kind of evil wizard. If the reality was not painful to me, I’d piss myself laughing at what a weakling and a coward he is!

I stopped paying for my SEO when I had these results – the people I work with all know me for who I am and not what he portrays me as – and I have been quietly making huge progress in my life away from the SEO and his troll friends. I am at the point now where my lawyer in the US has got a strong case together which I am confident will force the SEO and his friends to stop.

I can only congratulate Nadine Dorries with her efforts in trying to stop this man. As an MP she is better placed than I am to have stalking laws changed. I admire anyone who stands up to this man – the SEO – as I have done since 2007 (at one time in a less than intelligent way).

He has been like a dark cloud in my life since I had the misfortune to stumble across him. I have often asked the police to deal with him and his friends and they failed me – this is not their fault; they simply do not have the apparatus/legislation right now with which to nail these evil pests; nor always trace their deviousness.

I especially admire how the likes of Paladin are forcing legislative changes to rid the UK and the web in general of these kind of sick, twisted individuals. The SEO in question I firmly believe thinks he is doing good. He calls himself a “caped crusader” on the one hand then Tweets about shooting Nadine through the head on the other. He is an arch manipulator and a particularly unpleasant guy. He really needs some professional help.

I pity his new girlfriend – who seems also obsessed with Nadine Dorries – who I think is a decent egg but lonely and malleable. She has now got roped into doing his evil for him. I really do not feel sorry for his Troll friend who publishes as much crap as he does about me – he knows exactly what he is doing, has a good grip on optimization himself and I would like to see both he and the SEO have some time to think about their evil in jail here or even abroad. The police in the UK should be allowed to separate these people from the Internet and restrict proxies.”

From what Mr Wightman says it would seem the pendulum is swinging against these online stalkers. The victims have a fight on their hands but are showing the kind of strength needed to win.

If you feel you are suffering at the hands of a stalker then you can contact the National Stalking Helpline in the UK at http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/ or if you feel you are a cyberstalking victim of the same perpetrators as Mr Wightman or Nadine Dorries then contact Nadine Dorries at the Houses of Parliament Westminster or the New York Daily Sun info@newyorkdailysun.com If in the US, The Network of Victim Assistance is available on 1-800-675-6900

Nowadays Google and Bing are the go-to places to check on people. What is the difference between optimizing slander on search engines about individuals and spraying negative graffiti all over their house? Law needs to change so these vile people are classed as criminals and pay the price for their wrongdoing in the real world – offline.

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