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Cyberbullying & Dark Psychology

Nov 7, 2013 by

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Cyberbullying & Dark Psychology

A Brief Analysis

by Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.

CEO, iPredator Inc.

Cyberbullying is defined as the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the commission of verbal and/or physical attacks, by one or more children towards another child, who is unable or unwilling to deescalate the engagement. Given that the vast majority of this abuse occurs in cyberspace, the factors, drives and motivations for cyberbullying are extremely complex. Provided below is a brief introduction to cyberbullying and the realm of Dark psychology.  

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Bullying, or classic bullying, is a term used to define recurrent and sustained verbal and/or physical attacks by one or more child(s) towards another child who is unable or unwilling to deescalate the engagement. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault, coercion, intimidation, humiliation and taunting. Bullying is comprised of a combination of five types of pediatric abuse: social, sexual, emotional, verbal and physical. Bullying requires both the assailant and target to be minors. Adult forms of bullying are termed Harassment, Stalking & Slander. Despite variants in definition, bullying involves abuse between two or more minors. Classic bullying requires face- to-face interactions within the repertoire of aggressive behaviors.

Cyberbullying is a term used to define recurrent and sustained verbal and/or physical attacks, by one or more children towards another child, who is unable or unwilling to deescalate the engagement using Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Like classic bullying, cyberbullying is harmful, repeated and hostile behavior intended to deprecate a targeted child. Cyberbullying describes threatening or disparaging communications delivered through ICT. Whereas classic bullying involves face-to-face interactions and non-digital forms of communication, cyberbullying consists of information exchanged via ICT and may never involve face- to-face encounters.

By definition, classic & cyberbullying occurs among young people. When an adult is involved as the aggressor, it meets criteria for cyber harassment or cyberstalking, which in many states is a criminal act. Although the terms bullying and cyberbullying includes adult intimidation behavior in contemporary culture, these describe pediatric behaviors and will not include adult applications in this manuscript.

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Cyber Harassment & Cyberstalking Laws by State Link

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Children of the 21st century are targeted via classic bullying, cyberbullying or a combination of the two. Given the evolution of digital technology, growth of the internet and its relevance to the human experience, cyberbullying has reached epidemic proportions among the pediatric segments of society and becoming a permanent weapon in the toolbox of pediatric aggressors. At the core of all bullying, cyber and classic, are victimization, disparagement and abuse of a targeted child. Child abuse, whether perpetrated by a child or adult, is detrimental to all aspects of their psychological and developmental maturation following them into adulthood and throughout their lifespan.

Children traumatized by abuse and victimization have higher rates of all negative psychological and sociological aspects of the human condition ranging from alcohol & drug abuse, criminal involvement, domestic abuse and psychiatric illnesses. With the advent of ICT, children are by far more susceptible to the nefarious, criminal and deviant aspects ICT offers humanity. Although ICT offers incredible benefits to society, children are the demographic segment that is most impacted by the Dark Side of Cyberspace.

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters.” Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

In the United States, October has been marked every year as National Crime Prevention Month, National Bullying Prevention Month & National Cyber Security Month. Clearly, America has to recognize the adverse societal outcomes if cyberbullying is not addressed immediately. Given the complexity of cyberbullying, religious organizations, educational systems and communities must work together to initiate and sustain a concerted effort.

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A Canadian educator, Bill Belsey, in 2008 coined the term, cyberbullying, defining it as, “involving the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal websites, and defamatory online personal polling websites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.” Since introducing this term, cyberbullying now includes all ICT and has flourished to all industrialized nations. Because of this alarming reality and projected negative societal impact, if not addressed, this writer will analyze cyberbullying from his theoretical concepts of Dark Psychology & iPredator.

 Dark Psychology

Dark Psychology is the study of the human condition as it relates to the psychological nature of humanity’s potential to prey upon others. Motivating this potential are criminal and/or deviant drives that lack purpose and cannot be explained by evolutionary instinctual drives and social sciences theory. All of humanity has this potential to victimize other humans and living creatures. While most restrain or sublimate this tendency, some act upon these impulses.

Dark Psychology seeks to understand those thoughts, feelings, behaviors, phenomenological and subjective processing systems that lead to predatory behavior that is antithetical to contemporary understandings of human behavior. Dark Psychology assumes that criminal, deviant and abusive behaviors are purposive and have some rational, goal-oriented motivation 99% of the time. It is the remaining 1%, Dark Psychology parts from Adlerian theory and Teleology. Dark Psychology postulates there is a realm within the human psyche that enables some people to commit atrocious acts without purpose. The contingent of humanity that uses ICT to harm and victimize others has been coined iPredator, which Dark Psychology also investigates.

iPredator is a new construct developed by this writer to describe those, children and adults, who use ICT to assault, victimize and steal from others. Based on this writer’s hypothesis, 80-85% of cyberbullies meets the requirements of iPredator and defined as follows:

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iPredator

iPredator: A person, group, or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, coercion, stalking, theft, or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age or gender and are not bound by economic status, race, religion, or national heritage.

iPredator is a global term used to distinguish anyone who engages in criminal, coercive, deviant, or abusive behaviors using ICT. Central to the construct is the premise that Information Age criminals, deviants and the violently disturbed are psychopathological classifications new to humanity. Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cybercriminal, online sexual predator, cyber terrorist, and internet troll or engaged in cyber deception, they fall within the scope of iPredator.  

In relationship to cyberbullying, this writer along with developmental experts and philosophers, views bullying as driven by a need for control and domination, perceived by a child, that his/her actions will lead to greater peer acceptance and recognition. Alfred Adler (1870-1937), postulated that all people, feeling encouraged, concurrently feel proficient, appreciated and will behave in a connected and cooperative way. When discouraged, humans act in unhealthy ways by competing, withdrawing or giving up. It is in finding ways of expressing and accepting encouragement, gaining respect, and practicing Social Interest that help people to feel fulfilled and optimistic.

Adlerian theory and practice has proven especially relevant applied to the growth and development of children. A disciple of Alfred Adler, Rudolf Dreikurs [1897-1972], stated “a misbehaving child is a discouraged child” and that helping children to feel valued, significant and competent is often the most effective strategy in coping with difficult child behaviors. As this writer strongly supports many of his tenets, Adler’s theory would define a bully or cyberbully as compensating for deep feelings of inferiority. Inferiority is universal in all children and is the proclivity to feel smaller, weaker and less socially & intellectually competent than the adults around them.

Adler suggested if one observes children’s games, toys and fantasies, they tend to have one thing in common: the desire to grow up, to be big and to be an adult. This kind of compensation is identical with striving for perfection. Many children, however, are left with the feeling that others will always be better than they are. These psychic experiences of feeling less than, compounded by striving to feel superior and accepted by others, are the elements that lead a child to harass and taunt other children. From Adler’s theoretical tenets, it becomes plausible to see why children engage in abusive actions towards other children knowing their actions are causing the target child distress.

an information age education news and cyberbullying ipredator image

an information age education news and cyberbullying ipredator image

Although highly detrimental to the targeted victim, Dark Psychology assumes the aggressor child’s purpose for their behavior, using Adlerian theory regarding “need for acceptance”, as a primary motivating force for their behavior, is a viable explanation. When the aggressor child’s internal experiences and perceptions moves into the area of feeling gratification, power, dominance and control, without care or thought of the target child’s well-being, Dark Psychology defines this psychological state as deviant, narcissistic, anti-social and psychopathological. These behaviors may blossom into serious aggressive and/or criminal behavior in adulthood if not squelched or addressed.

In relationship to the growing societal cyberbullying epidemic, few people have pondered what is to become of today’s cyberbullies when they grow into adults. A metaphor to ponder is as follows:

A 10 year old child consistently experiences power and control cyberbullying other children and learns how to use Information and Communications Technology to successfully and habitually devastate another child without fear of punishment. Now, add 10-20 years of cyberbullying practice bringing the child into adulthood. Given the old adage of “practice makes perfect”, that child, now fully grown, has used the “veil of anonymity,” afforded to all online users, to harm others as the most effective way to influence and manipulate his or her peers.

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IPREDATOR INC.

iPredator Inc. is a New York State based Information Age Forensics Company founded to provide educational and advisory products & services to online users, consumers and organizations on cyberbullying, cyber harassment, cyberstalking, cybercrime, internet defamation, cyber terrorism, online sexual predation and cyber deception. Created by a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant, Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., C.F.C., their goal is to reduce victimization, theft and disparagement from online assailants.

In addition to assisting citizens, iPredator Inc.’s mission is to initiate a nationally sustained internet safety and cyber attack prevention educational & awareness campaign with the help of private, state and federal agencies.

For consumers seeking internet safety education and cyber-attack protection, feel free to read about iPredator Inc.’s innovative advisory-based membership service called, iPredator Protected. With the growth and expansion of social media, Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. offers a unique assessment service called the iPredator Facebook Safety Analysis (iFSA). In addition to offering advice, education and investigation, Dr. Nuccitelli has designed 26 internet safety and cyber attack prevention education checklists and inventories (IISC & IPI Collections). iPredator Inc. also offers abridged versions (IISC Collection-Abridged) that are less expensive and geared more for individual online users. All of Dr. Nuccitelli’s checklists and inventories were designed for assessment, diagnostics, education and prevention education.

Dr. Nuccitelli can be reached at DrNucc@iPredatorInc.com. Their website, www.iPredator.co, offers site visitors an enormous database on Cyber Criminal Psychology, Internet Safety and iPredators. Although iPredator Inc. has joined a multitude of social networking sites, feel free to visit their social sites planned to be their major information and announcement vehicles.

 “Pathological human narcissism transforms the actions of deceit, denial & misrepresentation into a reliable set of tools for those seeking to hide their indiscretions.” Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D., C.F.C. iPredator Inc. (2013)

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iPredator Cyberbullying Website Pages

 

Cyberbully Triad

The Cyberbullying Triad is a term used to describe the 3 typologies of children that harm other children using Information Technology. This writer’s terms to categorize cyberbullies include the Ignorant Cyberbully, Righteous Cyberbully & Narcissistic Cyberbully. Of the three profiles, the Narcissistic Cyberbully is the most problematic having the highest probability of engaging in malevolent and nefarious online activities as an adult.

http://www.ipredator.co/ipredator/cyber-bullying/cyberbully-triad/

Cyberbully Mind

Cyberbullying is defined as the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the commission of verbal and/or physical attacks, by one or more children towards another child, who is unable or unwilling to deescalate the engagement. Given that the vast majority of this abuse occurs in cyberspace, the factors, drives and motivations for cyberbullying are extremely complex. Provided is a brief introduction to the psychodynamics of cyberbullying and the cyberbully mind.

http://www.ipredator.co/ipredator/cyber-bullying/cyberbully-mind/

Cyberbullying Tactics 2014

Cyberbullying continues to grow devastating both pre-pubescent and adolescent children. Unlike pre-Information Age bullying, cyberbullies and their tactics are primarily designed and instituted in the hidden realm of cyberspace. No one knows the depths Information Age children will venture in their practices to harm other children. NYS Licensed Psychologist, Dr. Michael Nuccitelli has published his 2014 Cyberbullying Tactics for review and free download.

http://www.ipredator.co/ipredator/cyber-bullying/cyberbullying-tactics/

Cyberbullying Facts & Prevention Education

Cyberbullying facts, prevention education tips & resources are presented for download, at no cost, for parents, educators & pediatric professionals. Author of the Information Age Forensics construct, iPredator, Dr. Nuccitelli has compiled helpful information regarding both the cyberbully and cyberbully victim. Given that a significant segment of cyberbullies fit criteria for iPredator, he also presents his formal definitions for Dark Psychology, Cyberstealth, iPredator Bridge & Cyberstealth.

http://www.ipredator.co/ipredator/cyber-bullying/cyberbullying-facts/

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iPredator Cyberbullying Internet Safety Tools

 

CBTC-ABR

Cyberbullying Target Checklist Abridged: The CBTC-ABR is a 75 item cyber bully education and data collection tool for parents & educators regarding a child’s risk of being cyberbullied. Link: www.ipredator.co/product/cyber-bully-target-checklist-abridged/

CBAC-ABR

Cyber Bully Abuser Checklist-Abridged: The CBAC-ABR is a 75-item cyber bully education and data collection tool for parents and educators regarding a child’s risk potential of being a cyberbully. Link: www.ipredator.co/product/cyber-bully-abuser-checklist-abridged/

CBTC

Cyber Bully Target Checklist: The Cyber Bully Target Checklist is a 75-item education & data collection tool for parents and educators regarding a child’s risk of being cyberbullied. Link: www.ipredator.co/product/cyber-bully-target-checklist/

CBAC

Cyber Bully Abuser Checklist: The Cyber Bully Abuser Checklist is a 75-item internet safety tool designed for parents and educators regarding a child’s risk of being a cyberbully. Link: www.ipredator.co/product/cyber-bully-abuser-checklist/

IPI-CB

Cyber Bully Probability Inventory: The IPI-CB is a 110 question cyberbully probability inventory designed to examine a child’s risks of being cyberbullied and cyber attacked. iPredator Inc. Link: www.ipredator.co/product/cyberbully-probability-inventory/

IPI-CBA

Cyberbully Abuser Inventory: The IPI-CBA is a 110 question diagnostic and education tool designed to examine a child’s risks of being a cyberbully abuser or bystander. Link: www.ipredator.co/product/cyberbully-abuser-inventory /

“For the first time in human civilization, Dark Psychology has made a paradigm shift and conversion. At present, and for centuries to follow, cyberspace is a “digital illusory ocean” used to obtain, disseminate and exchange information.  Clearly, the benefits are obvious accelerating in the gifts it bears. The downside and only time will tell, is if the Dark Side of Cyberspace is allowed to flourish unfettered or does humanity quash this portal of evil we alone have created. The Dark Psychology, previously hidden within all of us, now has both the internet’s “veil of anonymity,” affording deeply hidden criminal, deviant and psychopathological drives to manifest and an abstract forum to activate devoid of concern for identification, judgment and punishment.” Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., iPredator Inc. (2013)

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Author: Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.

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