An Interview with Dr Michael Nuccitelli: About Trolls

Jan 22, 2014 by

a headshot image of Dr. Nuccitelli

Dr Michael Nuccitelli

1)  Dr. Nuccitelli , could you first of all tell us a bit about your background, education and experience?

Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D. is a New York State licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1994 from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. In 1997, Dr. Nuccitelli became a licensed psychologist in New York State (License # 013009.) In 2006, he received the Certified Forensic Consultant designation from the American College of Forensic Examiners (Identification # 103110.) In November 2011, Dr. Nuccitelli and his colleagues established iPredator Inc. offering the private & public sectors educational and advisory services regarding internet predators, cybercrime & digital forensic psychology. In June 2013, Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. launched their website,, offering site visitors an incredible amount of information, education and advisory services.

Over the last 25 years, Dr. Nuccitelli has worked in the mental health field in a variety of capacities with various clinical populations. Concurrent with his employment in mental health, Dr. Nuccitelli was a practicing psychologist for 10 years and worked in the field of forensic psychology conducting evaluations and consultation for attorneys and court systems. Dr. Nuccitelli has extensive career and academic experiences. His areas of expertise include forensic & criminal psychology, digital forensic psychology, psychiatric illness, addictions and developmental psychology. He is an avid follower of national & criminal news and enjoys educating the public by interacting with the media. Dr. Nuccitelli continues to investigate and expand his construct he has designed called iPredator.

2) Now, let me first say that I am a “ newbie “ on the net , so please tell me what a “ troll “ is ?

Internet Trolls are a subset of online users who engage in Cyber Harassment. The definitions of Cyber Harassment and Internet Trolls are as follows:

Cyber Harassment Definition

Cyber Harassment is an assailant’s use of ICT to harass, control, manipulate or habitually disparage another online user without a direct or implied threat of physical harm. Unlike physical harassment involving face-to-face contact, Cyber Harassment requires the use of ICT and is verbal, sexual, emotional or social abuse of a person, group or organization. The Cyber Harasser’s primary goal is to exert power and control over the targeted victim(s). When both the assailant and target are minors, Cyberbullying is the appropriate term.

Cyber Harassment is one typology included in the global technological predator construct, construct, iPredator, authored by this writer. Cyber Harassment, Cyberbullying, Internet Trolling and Cyberstalking are often used synonymously to describe online activities that include an assailant(s) targeting a victim(s) using aggressive information technology tactics. Given the list of online forums in which Cyber Harassment may occur, it is fair to assume “all” online forums and “all” electronic devices, internet enabled or not, are potential venues for this Information Age abuse. For any person, business or group who suspects they are being Cyber Harassed, it is vital to check their state statutes defining these laws.

Internet Troll Definition

An Internet Troll is a colloquial expression used to define an online user who uses Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to purposely and actively provoke, defame, anger, tease, flame, or incite other online users. More often than not, the Internet Troll does not know the target recipient(s) of their vitriolic statements and behaviors. Internet Trolls regularly appear in all forms of online mediums ranging from online video gaming gatherings to chatroom and forum discussions.

When the Internet Troll’s inflammatory statements and actions do not include a direct or implied physical threat to the target(s), their behavior is categorizes as cyber harassment. If the Troll’s verbal assaults include direct or implied physical threats to their target(s), their actions are then defined as cyberstalking.

As stated above, Internet Trolling (aka, Cyber Harassment) is the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to harass, control, manipulate, provoke or habitually disparage a child, adult, business or group. Unlike cyberstalking, requiring a direct or indirect physical threat, cyber harassment and internet trolls use ICT as a vehicle for disseminating provocative, inflammatory, graphic or obscene information regarding a person, group or organization.

3)  How do you define an Internet predator? What are the signs?

Online Sexual Predators [aka, Internet Predator, Online Predator, etc.] and those who engage in obtaining, disseminating and exchanging child pornography are adult online users who seek to exploit minors for sexual or sexually themed purposes. They use Information and Communications Technology to locate, target and victimize minors. Online sexual predators and child pornography consumers & distributors meet criteria for the Information Age Forensic construct, iPredator.

4) What are some of the characteristics of these Internet Trolls?

Internet Troll Profile

I. Most often gender male, but gradually starting to hear about female trolls.

II. Spend long periods of time online and likely internet addicted or at risk for becoming internet dependent.

III. Tend to have few offline friends and online friends often engage in the same type of online harassment.

IV. Highly susceptible to the states of de-individuation and the disinhibition effect experienced, to some degree, by all online users.

V. Aroused by experiencing power and control online fueled by their offline reality of being insignificant, angry and alone.

VI. The severity and magnitude of psychological abuse they inflict upon their online targets is directly correlated to their probability of suffering from an Axis IAxis II or Dual Diagnose mental illness.

VII. When online, exhibit a lack of empathy, have minimal capacity to experience shame or guilt and behaves with callousness and a grandiose sense of self .

VIII. From a psychodynamic standpoint, Internet Trolls create and sustain an intra-psychic myth of power, greatness and domination. Although all humanity is guided through life by internal myths and archetypes, the Internet Troll’s myths and archetypes are highly distorted.

IX. They are developmentally immature, tend to be chronically isolated [literal or figurative] and have had minimal to no intimate relationships.

X. Trolls meet all three criteria for being categorized as an iPredator.

a. A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT.

b. The usage of ICT to obtain, tamper with, exchange and deliver harmful information.

c. A general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.

5) Where did you come up with the name of “troll”?

This writer did not come up with the term “Internet Troll” and Wikipedia gives a good overview on them with the link here:

6) What do teachers and parents need to know about these trolls and who is responsible for teaching kids about trolls?

Teachers, parents, primary caregivers and the entire community are responsible for educating children about Internet Trolls, Online Sexual Predators, Cyberbullies and various forms of online aggressors. Most important for educators to know is that the vast majority of Internet Trolls do not know their targets they attempt to provoke. Unlike sexual predators who are motivated by sexual deviance or cybercriminals motivated by financial gain, internet trolls provoke, disparage and attempt to incite other online users to experience the perceptual distortions of power and control.

7) We often hear about predators on the Internet- are these individuals sneaky, or compulsive, or just plain rotten?

To answer this question, this writer’s construct definition of Cyberstealth is as follows:


Cyberstealth is a concept formulated along with iPredator and is a term used to define a method and/or strategy by which iPredators use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) , if they so choose, to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they troll and stalk a target. Cyberstealth is a methodology entrenched in Information Age Deception or also called cyber deception. Given the internet inherently affords everyone anonymity, Cyberstealth, used by iPredators, range from negligible to highly complex and multi-faceted.

The rationale for using “stealth” in the suffix of this term, serves to remind ICT users the primary intent fueling iPredators. This intent is to hide their identity by designing false online profiles, identities, covert tactics and methods to ensure their identities remain concealed reducing their probability of identification, apprehension and punishment.

Unlike classic deception used by traditional criminals and deviants, online deception completely relies on the anonymity and “veil of invisibility” available to all ICT users. The primary difference between Information Age deception and Cyberstealth are the activities iPredators and ICT users engage in. In this writer’s construct, Cyberstealth is reserved for iPredators who actively plan a strategy that have criminal, deviant and harmful implications to targeted victims. Information Age deception includes all forms of Cyberstealth, but also includes deceptive practices that do not have elements of crime, defiance or harm against others.

Cyberstealth is a covert method by which iPredators are able to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they engage in ICT activities planning their next assault, investigating innovative surveillance technologies or researching the social profiles of their next target. When profiling or conducting an investigation of an iPredator, their level of Cyberstealth complexity, digital footprint, victim preferences, ICT skills and behavioral patterns are used to identify who they are.

8) What have I neglected to ask ?


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 or engaged in internet defamation or nefarious cyber deception, they fall within the scope of iPredator. The three criteria used to define an iPredator include:

I. A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT. II. The use of ICT to obtain, tamper with, exchange and deliver harmful information. III. A general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.

Unlike human predators prior to the Information Age, iPredators rely on the multitude of benefits offered by Information and Communications Technology (ICT). These assistances include exchange of information over long distances, rapidity of information exchanged and the seemingly infinite access to data available. Malevolent in intent, iPredators rely on their capacity to deceive others using ICT in the abstract and artificial electronic universe known as cyberspace. Therefore, as the internet naturally offers all ICT users anonymity, if they decide, iPredators actively design online profiles and diversionary tactics to remain undetected and untraceable.

Cyberstealth, a sub-tenet of iPredator, is a covert method by which iPredators attempt to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they engage in ICT activities planning their next assault, investigating innovative surveillance technologies or researching the social profiles of their next target. Concurrent with the concept of Cyberstealth is iPredator Victim Intuition (IVI). An iPredator’s IVI is their aptitude to sense a target’s ODDOR (Offline Distress Dictates Online Response), online & offline vulnerabilities, psychological weaknesses, technological limitations, increasing their success of a cyber-attack with minimal ramifications.

9) Where can interested others get more information about this topic?

iPredator is a forensic, psychopathological and human consciousness construct exploring why humanity is increasingly engaging in nefarious and criminal online activities in cyberspace. Recognized by the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute, Haberman Educational Foundation, Education News and a growing number of law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and court systems, iPredator and the mission of iPredator Inc. seeks to one day encourage America to initiate a sustained cyber-attack prevention and internet safety education campaign.

The goal of this mission is to stop the rapid growth of cyber aggression and online victimization from cyberbullying, cyber harassment, cyberstalking, cybercrime, online sexual predation, cyber terrorism, internet addiction and habitual online deception. iPredator is a global concept including all these typologies. The construct is free to download and no personal information is required to download. Simply scroll to the base of the web page, click on “Single Page” and then click on either the PDF or Print button. Authored by this writer, all constructive criticism is welcomed and any insight into how to achieve our mission is always welcomed.

I. iPredator Internet Safety Website:

II. iPredator Internet Troll Page:

III. iPredator Construct Link:

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1 Comment

  1. Excellent Dr simply excellent