National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Educators & Blog Visitors,

October in the United States is both National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month and National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Below to print or download for you, your colleagues and community is this writer’s condensed article on cyberbullying tactics to disseminate to your patients, clients, customers and website visitors. Under the tenets of “social cause marketing”, a business that disseminates educational information, beneficial to their community, may not experience an immediate revenue increase, but will increase their reputation in the community as being supportive of child welfare & safety.

Given the article’s function is to boost your community and/or digital reputation, this writer has made this article public domain with no copyright issues allowing you to remove and/or edit his name, contact information and website. Use it to your advantage how you choose, and all that is asked, is that you simply hand it out to your community, site visitors and blog readers.

iPredatorA child, adult or group who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, 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, either gender and not bound by economic status, race or national heritage.

iPredator is a global term used to distinguish anyone who engages in criminal, deviant or abusive behaviors using Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cyber criminal, online sexual predator, internet troll or cyber terrorist, 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 intermittent to frequent usage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to obtain, 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 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in an abstract electronic universe.


iPredator Bridge

iPredator Bridge: iPredator Bridge is a theoretical tenet of iPredator representing the exploration and study of people who decide to use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to harm others motivated by greed, power, control, narcissism or psychopathology. iPredator Bridge investigates why some people draw near to this nefarious and malevolent realm hidden in cyberspace and through ICT, contemplate the benefits and detriments, decide to proceed, and then continue a trajectory where their cognitive, affective, behavioral and perceptual states are directly or indirectly harmful to others and society. For those who cross this proverbial bridge, they enter a world where their choices are increasingly governed by criminal, deviant, immoral and maladaptive processes.

Although it is assumed all humanity, has residing deep in their psyche, the potential & Dark Psychology for behaving in harmful and malevolent ways they rarely or never activate, ICT and cyberspace offers a direct connection and psychological route to the dark side. Just as ICT and cyberspace is incredibly pro-social and beneficial to humanity, these same technological advancements can lead humanity to diabolical and sinister endeavors. The iPredator Bridge is a symbolic representation of the approach, route and initial crossing into the realm of the iPredator. In a rudimentary and abstract way, it is posited that cyberspace, ICT and all future technological advancements, related to information technology, is an extension of the mind and the instinctual drives of the collective brain to replicate itself outside a human organism.

Good people say good things about others. Bad people say bad things about others. What comes out of a person’s mouth is a reflection of what is inside of them.Robert O’Block Ph.D., Psy.D., Founder and Publisher American College of Forensic Examiners International (2012)

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2012-2013 Cyberbullying Tactics

Like classic bullying, cyberbullying is harmful, repeated and hostile behavior intended to deprecate & defame a targeted child. Cyberbullying describes threatening or disparaging information against a target child delivered through Information and Communications Technology (ICT.) Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is an umbrella term used to define any electronic or digital communication device or application used to exchange or disseminate information. Compiled for the reader are the most commonly used cyberbullying tactics practiced by child and adolescent ICT users in 2012-2013. As ICT advances and expands, cyberbullying tactics will also continue to adapt to the ever-changing world of Information Technology.

Although bullying has been part of the human experience since the inception of civilization, cyberbullying has introduced a form of bullying never seen before. Bullying used to be confined to schools, neighborhoods or some small geographic location that the bullied child could leave and seek respite. With cyberbullying, the target child has no escape from the taunting and harassment afforded by ICT. Cyberbullies easily target children when they are vulnerable, unaware, unsuspecting or different from the peer group in power or peer majority based on their age, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and physical attributions.

In the severe reactions, cyberbullying is driving a growing number of children to attempt and succeed at a new form of self-extinction called cyber bullicide. Cyber bullicide is when a child successfully commits suicide stemming directly or indirectly from cyberbullying victimization. Educators, parents and the community must treat cyberbullying as a socially toxic phenomenon. To thwart this growing epidemic, it is paramount the adult community becomes educated on the tactics cyberbullies use to taunt and victimize vulnerable children. Given the variety of methods cyberbullies use, which continues to expand, provided here are the most commonly used cyberbullying tactics used in 2012 and projected for 2013 with minimal variations.

Types of Cyberbullying

1. Exclusion: Exclusion is a cyberbullying tactic that indirectly sends a provocative message to the target child that they are not included in social activities without the need for verbal deprecation. As it is well-known children and teens are developmentally fixated on being recognized by their peers, the process of designating who is a member of the peer group and who is not included can be devastating to the target child.

2. Flaming: Flaming is a term describing an online passionate argument that frequently includes profane or vulgar language, that typically occurs in public communication environments for peer bystanders to witness including discussion boards and groups, chat rooms and newsgroups. Flaming may have features of a normal message, but its intent if designed differently and flamers endeavor to assert their power or establish a position of dominance.

3. Outing: Outing is a cyberbullying tactic that includes the public display, posting, or forwarding of personal communication or images by the cyberbully personal to the target child. Outing becomes even more detrimental to the target child when the communications posted and displayed publicly contains sensitive personal information or images that are sexual in nature.

4. E-mail Threats and Dissemination: This is a cyberbully tactic used to inspire fear in the target child and then informing other members in the peer group of the alleged threat. The cyberbully sends a threatening e-mail to the target child and then forwards or copy & pastes the threatening message to others of the implied threat.

5. Harassment: Harassment is sending hurtful messages to the target child that is worded in a severe, persistent or pervasive manner causing the respondent undue concern. These threatening messages are hurtful, frequent and very serious.

6. Phishing: Phishing is a cyberbully tactic that requires tricking, persuading or manipulating the target child into revealing personal and/or financial information about themselves and/or their loved ones. Once the cyberbully acquires this information, they begin to access their profiles and purchasing unauthorized items with the target child’s or parents credit cards.

7. Impersonation: Impersonation or “imping” as a tactic in cyberbullying can only occur with the “veil of anonymity” offered by digital technology. Cyberbullies impersonate the target child and make unpopular online comments on social networking sites and in chat rooms. Using impersonation, cyberbullies set up websites that include vitriolic information leading to the target child being ostracized or victimized in more classic bullying ways.

8. Denigration: Used in both classic and cyberbullying, denigration is a term used to describe when cyberbullies send, post or publish cruel rumors, gossip and untrue statements about a target child to intentionally damage their reputation or friendships. Also known as “dissing,” this cyberbullying method is a common element and layer involved in most all of the cyberbullying tactics listed.

9. E-mail and Cell Phone Image Dissemination: Not only a tactic used in cyberbullying, but a form of information exchange that can be a criminal act if the images are pornographic or graphic enough depicting under aged children. Children can receive images directly on their phones and then send them to everyone in their address books. Some children actually post these images on video sites, their social networking profiles and other programs for anyone to download or view.

10. Images and Videos: The usage of images and video as a cyberbullying tactic has become a growing concern that many communities, law enforcement agencies and schools are taking seriously. Images and videos of the target child are emailed to peers, while others are published on video sites such as YouTube. The usage of video and images are extremely dangerous and criminal in most states when the target child is a minor.

11. Interactive Gaming Harassment: Interactive games on online gaming devices allow children to communicate by chat and live Internet phone with others they are matched with online. Having the ability to exchange information with gaming opponents and fellow peers, children will verbally abuse others, use threatening and profane language, lock others out of games, pass false information about others and depending on their computer savvy, hack into other children’s accounts.

12 Pornography and Marketing List Inclusion: A frustrating tactic committed by cyberbullies is signing up the target child to pornography and/or junk marketing e-mailing and instant messaging marketing lists. By doing this, the target child receives thousands of e-mails and instant messages from pornography sites and advertising companies.

13. Cyber Stalking: Cyber Stalking includes threats of harm, intimidation and/or offensive comments sent through personal communication channels. Frequently with cyber stalking, there is a threat or at least a belief of the target child, that the cyberbully’s threats of stalking are real or could become real offline stalking. Cyber Stalking takes harassment to the level of threatening the target child’s safety to an offline environment.

14. Griefing: Griefing is a term to describe when a cyberbully habitually and chronically causes grief to the target child, their peers and other members of an online community. Griefing can also occur when a cyberbully intentionally disrupts the immersion of another player in their interactive online gaming game play causing the target child embarrassment and shame.

15. Password Theft & Lockout: A cyberbully steals the target child’s password and begins to chat with other people, pretending to be the target child. Confident that others think he/she is the target child, they begin to communicate provocative and adversarial messages that are offensive and anger the target child’s friends or even strangers.

16. Website Creation: This is a tactic whereby the cyberbully creates websites that insult or endangers the target child. The cyberbully creates, designs and posts web pages specifically designed to insult the target child, their peers or group of people who share similar characteristics as the target child such as race, religion or sexual orientation.

17. Voting/Polling Booths: Some websites offer online users the opportunity to create online polling/voting booths that are free of charge and easy to post. Cyberbullies use these websites to create web pages that allow others to vote online for categories that are deemed highly embarrassing by the target child. Examples of voting and polling include the ugliest, fattest, dumbest, more sexually promiscuous and a plethora of other deprecating attributes.

18. Bash Boards: Bash Boards are online bulletin boards where children post anything they choose and often frequented by the cyberbully and target child’s peer groups and school acquaintances. At these online bulletin boards, negative and deprecating information is posted about the target child that is public for all to read and shared with others. Generally, bash boards encourage postings that are mean, hateful, malicious and embarrassing.

19. Trickery: Trickery is a tactic similar to Phishing in that a cyberbully purposely tricks a target child into divulging secrets, private information and/or embarrassing information about themselves and then publishing that information online. Like Phishing, trickery requires the target child to have some element of trust or respect for the cyberbully by agreeing to post sensitive information about them thinking the cyberbullies rationale for doing so will be beneficial and/or positive.

20. Happy Slapping: Happy Slapping is a relatively new type of cyberbullying that integrates the rapid growth of video online and classic bullying. This occurs when a target child or unsuspecting victim is physically attacked or embarrassed in person and an accomplice video records or takes pictures of the incident. The image or video is then posted online at video and social networking sites for public consumption.

21. Text Wars and Text Attacks: Text Wars and Text Attacks are cyberbullying tactics when the cyberbully and a group of his/her accomplices’ gang up on the target child by sending them hundreds of emails or text messages. Besides the emotional toll it can take on the target child, their cell phone charges may escalate.

22. Sending Malicious Code: Sending malicious code is a cyberbullying tactic whereby malicious information is sent intentionally to a target child to damage or harm their ICT. Many cyberbullies will send viruses, spyware and hacking programs to a target child that can be very costly to repair. The act of sending malicious code as a cyberbullying tactic is usually reserved for children and adolescents advanced in ICT.

23. Warning Wars: Internet Service Providers (ISP) offers a way for consumers to report an online user who is posting inappropriate or abusive information. As a tactic used in cyberbullying and harassment, children engage in “warning wars” by making false allegations to the ISP regarding the child posting inappropriate information. By doing this frequently enough, often times the target child has their profile and/or account suspended by the ISP.

24. Screen Name Mirroring: Screen Name Mirroring is a cyberbullying tactic used against a target child by constructing a screen name or user name that is very similar to the target child’s name. This name may have additional or removed letters, numbers or combinations of the two to appear the same as the target child’s screen name.

25. Cyber Drama: Cyber Drama is a cyberbullying tactic that is a lot more common than extreme cases of cyberbullying. Cyber Drama tends to be gossip that was not supposed to be shared on a blog or a flame war that ends after a few messages. Most child and adolescent online users are perceptive about telling each other to refrain and will block a user or open a new account when necessary. Needless to say, some children engaged in Cyber Drama can be psychologically affected.

26. Sexting: Sexting is the slang term for the use of a cell phone or other information and communications technologies to distribute pictures or video of sexually explicit images. It can also refer to text messages of a sexually charged nature. Sexting is both a sexually oriented form of communication and a cyberbullying tactic.

27. Pseudonyms: A pseudonym is a nickname cyberbullies call themselves when they are online as opposed to when offline. They do this to keep their real identity a secret from the target child. When using instant messaging services like MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger, an online user has a nickname they have chosen. Cyberbullies use this same feature to change their name to something that a target child would not expect.

28. Instant Messaging (IM): Instant Messaging is a type of communications service that enables online users to create a private chat room with another individual. Cyberbullies use IM to send harassing and threatening messages to the targets of their hatred and loathing. IM has become a very large part of the social lives of child and adolescent online users. The conversations and conflicts that arise online often give rise to behaviors that are acted out in person during school or at the local shopping mall.

Children of the 21st century are targeted via classic bullying, cyberbullying or a combination of the two. Given the evolution of digital technology and the growth of the Internet, cyberbullying 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.


Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.

Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. is a NYS licensed psychologist and cyber criminology consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Adler University in 1994. In 2010, Dr. Nuccitelli authored the dark side of cyberspace concept known as “iPredator.” In November 2011, he established iPredator Inc., offering educational, investigative, and advisory services involving criminal psychology, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, online predators, internet trolls, the dark side of cyberspace and internet safety. Dr. Nuccitelli has worked in the mental health field over the last thirty-plus years and has volunteered his time helping cyber-attacked victims since 2010. His goal is to reduce victimization, theft, and disparagement from iPredators.

In addition to aiding citizens & disseminating educational content, Dr. Nuccitelli’s mission is to initiate a sustained national educational and awareness internet safety campaign with the help of private, state, and federal agencies. He is always available, at no cost, to interact with online users, professionals, and the media. To invite Dr. Nuccitelli to conduct training, media engagements, educational services, or consultation, please call him at (347) 871-2416 or via email at drnucc@ipredatorinc.com.


Founded by Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D., iPredator Inc. is a NYC Internet Safety Company founded to offer educational and advisory products and services to online users and organizations on cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cybercrime, internet defamation and online sexual predation. iPredator Inc.’s goal is to reduce victimization, theft, and disparagement from online perpetrators.
New York City, New York
Phone: 347-871-2416

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