by 50 Watts
Cyber Bully, The New Child iPredator
Article by Dr. Michael Nuccitelli
Bullying, or classic bullying, 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. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault, coercion, intimidation, humiliation and taunting. Bullying is comprised of a combination of four basic types of abuse: social, emotional, verbal and physical. Despite variants in definition, bullying always involves abuse with the use of harassment, force or coercion to affect a targeted child.
Classic bullying requires face to-face interactions within the repertoire of behaviors. Cyber bullying 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 (hereafter, ICT.) Like classic bullying, cyber bullying is harmful, repeated and hostile behavior intended to deprecate a targeted child. Cyber bullying describes threatening or disparaging communications delivered through ICT.
Whereas classic bullying typically involves face-to-face interactions and non-digital forms of communication, cyber bullying consists of information exchanged via ICT and may never involve face to-face encounters. By definition, classic & cyber bullying occurs among young people. When an adult is involved as the aggressor, it meets criteria for cyber harassment or cyber stalking, which in many states is a criminal act. Although the terms bullying and cyber bullying includes adult intimidation behavior in contemporary culture, these describe pediatric behaviors and will not include adult applications in this manuscript.
Children of the 21st century are targeted via classic bullying, cyber bullying or a combination of the two. Given the evolution of digital technology and growth of the internet and its relevance to the human experience, cyber bullying has reached epidemic proportions among the pediatric segments of society and has become a permanent weapon in the bully’s toolbox. 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 development 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 human existence 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 elements of the Geosocial Universe.
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 recognized the potential adverse societal outcomes that will occur if cyber bullying is not addressed immediately. Given the complexity of bullying, developmental psychology and ICT being a mere 20 years old, a concerted and sustained educational effort must continue and flourish.
A Canadian educator, Bill Belsey, in 2008 defined cyber bullying 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, cyber bullying now includes all ICT.
Because of this alarming reality and projected negative societal impact if not addressed, this writer uses his theoretical concepts of Dark Psychology & iPredator to assess the motivations and drives of the cyber bully. A brief description of these two concepts are as follows:
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, perceptions, phenomenological and subjective consciousness 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 who use ICT to assault, victimize and steal from others. Based on this writer’s hypothesis, 70-80% of cyber bullies meet the requirements of iPredator defined as follows:
iPredator: A child, adult or group who engages in exploitation, victimization, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using information and communications technology (ICT.) iPredators are driven by deviant sexual 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, either gender and not bound by socio-economic status or racial/national heritage. Based on the intent, drives, motivations and purpose of the cyber bully, many of them can be defined as an iPredator using Dark Psychology tenets.
iPredator Inc. was founded in September 2011 to provide educational and advisory products & services to consumers and organizations on Cyber Bullying, Cyber Stalking, Child Predators, Cyber Crime, Internet Defamation, Cyber Terrorism and the new field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Psychology being pioneered. Created by a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant, Dr. Michael Nuccitelli, 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 national educational & awareness campaign with the help of private, state and federal agencies. To watch an overview of iPredator Inc., visit http://youtu.be/ExTl-Je6FDA. Dr. Nuccitelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Nuccitelli’s blog can be viewed at http://www.DarkPsychology.co. The launch of their website, iPredator.co, is planned for 2/2012 and will offer site visitors an enormous database on criminal psychology, forensics and iPredators.