Milos Mandic Responds

Sunday, September 3, 2006 1:20 | Filed in Blogging, Life

Bumped because of further responses.

Some of you who read my site regularly will remember a posting called Milos Mandic and the stange case of the comment spam, where I described the phenomena of comments cropping up around the web, which add no real value to the discussion but just look to generate links back to someone’s site.

In this, I pointed at an example of a chap called Milos Mandic, or at least someone claiming to be him who was carrying out this precise practice. I’ve had an email from Milos (again, or at least someone claiming to be him) this morning, saying:


Delete my Name from your Website. That is not a joke or spam Jack, I do not want to read my Name on your website any more, do you understand that!

Milos Mandic – 1st September 2006

PS: Stop spamming my guestbook.

Milos Mandic or someone claiming to be him

Now, having re-read the article, I don’t think I’ve been in any way unfair, particularly since I did specifically say that it may just have been someone pretending to be him, but perhaps I should re-empasise that point. The comments which appeared all over the web design parts of the internet which claimed to be from Milos’ site, and pointed back to Milos’s site, might not have originated from there. I don’t know — and I don’t have a way to check the IP addresses to be sure. [Edit: note the latest comment received suggests that Milos Mandic is admitting he is the originator of these comments]. Needless to say, I’ve had nothing to do with his guestbook.

So I replied:


I’ve got nothing to do with your guestbook – I’d suggest you monitor the IP addresses that are causing concern and seek to ban them if they’re coming from a particular source.

I specifically state in the article that the person behind the posting may simply have been someone pretending to be you – but they’ve also been doing it elsewhere — 70 times — as I pointed out in the article. I believe it’s fair to point out that there’s a spammer at least claiming to be you.

.You’ve certainly got a right to reply in the article if you like. If you wish to do so and confirm that those postings on sites weren’t from you, then I’ll happily change the references to indicate that they were from “someone claiming to be Milos Mandic” rather than Milos Mandic himself.

Does that sound fair?

There’s one thing that I should have done that I didn’t do, and that was offer Milos the right of reply. So, here it is: give me your side of the story Milos. Also, I’ll go further: if you contact the various sites where the comment I originally talked about can be found and tell them it wasn’t from you — and I hear from them that you’ve done this, I’ll not only apologise, but I’ll take down both this article and the previous one.

Is that fair? What does anyone else think?

Edit: I should perhaps note that he did attempt to post a reply on the original entry three days ago but this was trapped by my spam filters for swearing and I didn’t notice it until today. I have removed the swearing and approved his reply to the post.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

42 Comments to Milos Mandic Responds

  1. Mike Cherim says:

    August 31st, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    How interesting. A spammer would never make it personal I don’t think. Upon reading this I did a search for the name on Google. The top spot was a website and developer of that name. That seemed legit, though based on the content, may have a real fancy towards all things SEO and rankings-related (maybe). So, perhaps it is legitimate, but done by someone who may not practice the most savory of methods of getting to the top. I mean posting the same comment, especially one which really should have been made via a contact form to 70 top blogs isn’t cool. But then again, maybe he is a victim in that someone took his identity to a certain degree. I would have let the comment ride, until that is I discovered it was all over the place. Then I would have removed it. If any URL in the post led to anything indicative of spam, blogspot for instance, I would have removed it in that case too.

    Number two on Google for that name was this site and number three was referencing a court-case in Illinois. If he (or she… I have a client named Milos who is a black woman) is legitimate, then I feel you’ve offered a reasonable vehicle for them to respond.

    Perhaps you should even go so far as to be proactive and initiate contact with this person by way of 1) a response to the email and 2) contacting the site of the same name to see if there is two personalities involved. If it was my name being used, and it wasn’t me, I’d be upset. But if it was my name being used and I had posted to 70 blog the same message, I couldn’t be upset as I was think that I got busted, nothing more.

  2. JackP says:

    August 31st, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    Mike, I’ve done both the things you suggested – both the website and the email have been contacted. If the person behind the site is totally legit and contacts the sites concerned, I’ll be perfectly happy to remove both posts: if they don’t use, and don’t support the use of unsavoury methods, then I presume they’d be perfectly happy to contact the sites concerned about the misrepresentation of themselves – in which case as I said I’ll delete the posts that refer to them and apologise.

  3. Karl says:

    August 31st, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    A lot of sites also use rel=”nofollow” on all links within comments and the “your website” meta data. So it’s a pointless spamming technique anyway. No-one likes being accused of stuff (even when guilty) but you’ve been fair, and retrospectively so also. I hope Milos can appreciate this and work it out with you in a gentlemanly manner.

  4. Mike Cherim says:

    August 31st, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    That’s cool Jack. I didn’t know you contacted the owner of that site. You’ve done all you can do. I will watch this as I want to see if (the) Milos comes forward. If not, I must say it make him or her look pretty guilty.

  5. Steve Pugh says:

    August 31st, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    Um, did he e-mail you from the future? Odd.

  6. JackP says:

    September 2nd, 2006 at 12:37 am

    I’ve had an idea — and emailed Milos about it — that I hope will be satisfactory to everyone. Basically, the situation we have as follows is:
    - I don’t want to remove the posts as to my mind they are perfectly valid
    - I’m currently appearing in position #3 in a google search for Milos Mandic
    - I don’t really want to appear in a google search for Milos Mandic
    - Milos wants me to remove the posts — presumably because he doesn’t want me appearing in a google search for Milos Mandic either
    And there’s a very simple solution that should solve everyone’s problem: I just add the relevant pages to my robots exclusion protocol, and after a short delay they should drop out of search engine results, yet remain on my site so people who view my site can read them.
    Hopefully that will keep everyone happy …

  7. Milos Mandic says:

    September 2nd, 2006 at 11:37 am

    [Edited to remove text from my email relating to the robots exclusion protocol suggestion; also edited because the web URI was incorrect "ww" rather than "www" and as this is a post which is perfectly relevant he deserves his link]

    Jack Pickard! Why don’t you remove my Name from your site? It is funny – I am the owner of and the webmaster. My IP is from an internet caffee in Montenegro not from Regensburg in Germany because I am on holiday. Now you have written two artikles – stop it.
    I have written this comments on all these 65 pages and I really do not to contact them all to remove them… Only beacause you want that, do you want to have a little Search Results war @ google or what?

    From my piont of view the google search results are very important for me, I can not believe that someone called Jack Pickard is on the second place @ google for “Milos Mandic”. So again: Remove my names from your articles or comments. You do not have the right to write about my Person and you also do not have the right to use my name.

    Think about that what I have written below.

    When I am back to Germany and my Name is still on your website, and in conjunction with – I will contact my advocate to solve this problem, if you are interested in thing like that – you can go on writing thing about me.

    Greetings Milos Mandic

    PS: I have already sent an link from your comments to my advocate. It is now up to you to delete them.

  8. JackP says:

    September 3rd, 2006 at 1:28 am

    [also emailed to user]
    you admit to having written the comments on 65 pages. Fair play to you for holding your hands up. But, like the wikipedia reference I provided on the original post, your comments pretty much fit the wikipedia definition of comment spam: you were not adding to the debate, you were simply saying something pleasant about the site and providing a link back to your own site. This appears to me that you’ve attempted to use their site for your own purposes without providing any benefit to them. In the circumstances, do you not think it’s reasonable to contact them and let them know? Alternatively, if you don’t feel that the comments were comment spam in nature, could you please explain your reasoning here?

    You don’t want me to appear in the search results for Milos Mandic. I don’t particularly want to appear their either, hence the robots exclusion protocol suggestion that I have already offered. I don’t understand why that won’t resolve your problem. It would remove me from the search results, and I’m certainly not so petty as to try and have a search results war, although I’m a little disappointed that it seems you are. Can you please explain why the robots exclusion thing wouldn’t solve your problem?

    Also, you suggest that I do not have the right to talk about your name or your person. I can’t understand why not, providing I’m not saying anything that isn’t factual. Certainly if you feel I’m breaking UK law with any of these statements, if you can demonstrate to me how I’m breaking the law, I’ll be more than happy to make any necessary adjustments in order to comply with the law.

    Another option you could take if you feel that I am being unreasonable is to contact my web hosting provider and check with them that I’m not breaching any of their terms or conditions. You may wish to quote reference TI-6673 in communication with them, as this is the reference of the support call I raised with them when I checked my approach with them.

  9. JackP says:

    September 3rd, 2006 at 2:17 am

    Jack Pickard! Why don’t you remove my Name from your site?Milos Mandic

    Um … you were the first one to put your name on my site, when you added a comment entry that read:

    A very accosting layout and a interesting discussion topic, do you provide any Web-based services to universities or students?Milos Mandic

    May I respectfully suggest that by submitting such a comment to my site in the first place —which you’ve admitted to making in your previous posting — you were seeking that your name should appear on my site. Similarly, when you suggest that:

    you also do not have the right to use my name.Milos Mandic

    I would again submit that it was you who first placed your name on my site in the first place.

  10. Steve Pugh says:

    September 3rd, 2006 at 9:42 am

    If you do go down the robots exclusion protocol route, don’t forget the month and category archive pages as well. Or edit to remove his name from the post titles and extracts so that it doesn’t appear on those archive pages.

  11. JackP says:

    September 3rd, 2006 at 10:30 am

    @Steve: I’d never considered that. I was thinking the original posts only, but I don’t really want to have to start changing my existing posts when I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. Hopefully that would drop me down the google rankings sufficiently not to be bothering him anymore.

    Anyway, I’ve asked Pinsent Masons, the international law firm behind Out-Law if they’ll give the stuff a once-over, as they offer to provide free initial guidance.

    Furthermore, I’ve had a communication from one of the directors of Titan Internet who is responsible for looking after legal issues. He feels that I should ignore any follow ups, but that I may want to consider deleting the posts anyway, because they don’t really add anything to my site.

    Haven’t I always said that the support I get from Titan Internet is great? Normally I’ve been meaning support in the sense of when I wanted to change something about my site, but in this case a bit of moral support is nice too. To be honest, while I agree they aren’t adding much, I don’t really want to delete the posts because in my mind I’ve done nothing wrong — after all it’s Google, not me, who think I should appear on their first page of search results.

    However, I did make a conditional offer to delete the posts before and that still stands.

  12. Matt says:

    September 5th, 2006 at 2:25 am

    So to summarise. Mr Mandic admits to leaving comment spam in blogs around the internet, now to be fair he has achieved against all odds the accolade of being top of google search when you type in his name. I can fully appreciate how frustrating after having put in hours of thought into carefully wording and crafting his site to achieve this to have directly under that result another accusing you of cheating. Or rather I can’t because as he as already admitted he has cheated.

    So Mr Mandic, I am unsure about Geman law, but in the UK which certainly has jurisdiction in this instance you will never have a great deal of success in demanding the unpublication of facts – and you agree they are facts. You have attempted to use other people’s hard work to your own gain, while offering nothing in return. Then having been caught you claim other people are responsible for spamming your guest book. Shut up you have absolutly nothing to complain about.

  13. JackP says:

    September 7th, 2006 at 12:06 am

    I’ve had an email from someone who says that they’ve spammed your guestbook, and seemed to think I would somehow be pleased (I presume this is the 31 Aug 20:01 entry). I have replied and told them that I think they have behaved abominably, that this is particularly bad netiquette and that I consider spamming of any sort to be indefensible.

    I DO NOT CONDONE ANY SPAM, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. If you’ve been reading my site, DO NOT POST SPAM on anyone’s site.

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