16 Jun, 2012 @ 09:02
1 min read

Tackling the internet trolls in Spain

EXCLUSIVE by Wendy Williams

A BRITISH woman has called in police after a landscape gardener launched a vicious internet campaign against her.

Emma Surgenor (right), 47, who runs a construction company with her husband Peter Rennie, 51, argues her business is being put in jeopardy over the ‘ridiculous’ online claims.

Among the rants being made by the former expat business associate are that she is an international criminal, wanted in the UK.

“It is a really horrible situation,” explains Surgenor, who lives in San Pablo de Buceite, near Sotogrande.

“I tried to ignore it but it is getting out of control now and it is really upsetting. I just don’t know what to do.

“I need to fight back from all this as it is impacting on my business, as potential clients are being put off,” claims Surgenor, who previously ran a construction company in the UK.

She insists locals have been gossiping about it and she has received ‘numerous calls’ – some from potential clients – asking about the claims.

“The problem is I can’t prove it’s him, even though his name is mentioned in several posts.

“He has done the same thing to other people, with various aliases and almost exactly the same wording, but we are all helpless.

“Anyone can write anything about anyone on the internet and it seems it just stays there.”

One of the blogs, posted under the alias ‘jantje waarheid’ – which means ‘Johnny the Truth’ in Dutch – actually claims her company Rose and Thistle ‘is known to be a criminal firm due to a victim trail of biblical proportions’.

It continues: “Emma has quite an extensive criminal record in the UK for theft, malpractices and racketeering.”

It gives no further details and Surgenor strongly denies it.

“I can prove that I have absolutely no criminal record either here or in the UK, nor has my husband.

“It is completely defamatory, but you can’t get rid of it and now our customers are reading it.

“We have been here for nine years and I have never been taken to court by a client either here or in the UK.

“We are just ordinary people, passionate about what we do. I am terribly upset by it all.”

When the Olive Press tried to contact the gardener – whose identity we cannot reveal for legal reasons  – his number was no longer in service.

Eloise Horsfield

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  1. “It is completely defamatory, but you can’t get rid of it…”

    Totally inaccurate statements from Ms Surgenor. Google, who own Blogspot (the address of the blog in question seen from the photo in the OP printed edition) will remove defamatory content within 20 minutes. As for the gardeners phone number being no longer in service, so what? Numbers stop working all the time and are no evidence of anything untoward. Looks and smells like a setup to me.

  2. Don’t know where you’r coming from Mr. Fred, but in most countries Blogspot only removes posts after they have an court order. And if they would remove it from Blogspot.ES it will still be visible on blogspot.COM (and other TLDs)

    What would be the “set-up” in your opinion ??

    Ever done business with either of them ?

  3. Never done business with anyone in the article, but know people who have had defamatory content removed (in under an hour) from Blogspot, after using their official online complaints procedure, so no need to debate this any further with you. You continue n with what you want to believe, Pedro. lol.

  4. So your telling me the woman is lying, and I am talking nonsense based on hear’say ? Read about Blogpost’s official procedure “http://support.google.com/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=76315” and try to fill in the form…

    What reasons do you have to assume it is a set up, what’s on your agenda Fred ?

  5. No need to debate things I already know the answers to ‘Pedro’. Bye.

    By far the dumbest answer I have ever seen.
    But by all means, Continue to Enjoy your Complacency ‘Fred’, but don’t put other people down with your
    fictitious acquisitions.

  6. The only dumb thing here is you, ‘Pedro’. As stated, I already know of people who have had material removed from blogs. If you want to go through life thinking you know the answer to this, then fine, be ignorant. But please don’t tell me what I already know and have experienced.

  7. Fred, By all means show me proof of a removal within an hour,
    or even 20 minutes as you stated. Google /Blogspot never reacts that fast, and even if they reacted that quick, the postings would still be shown as dot.com. (an one could still visit the blog at that .com address)

    Calling me names and accusing others of a set up without any justification does not help your credibility in my humble opinion.

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