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No, that headline isn’t from the Onion.

Entire blog post here.

Xinhua story from July 16 here.

Sometimes a big story is eclipsed by a larger one. This is one of them.

The fact that China banned electroshock therapy for Internet addiction showed up in the later paragraphs of a lot of the same stories several weeks ago as the account of a Chinese boy getting beaten to death in a boot-camp style institution that was supposed to cure him of Internet addiction.

The bottom line in both stories is that in China the list of diagnostic standards for a lot of emotional and psychological conditions is kind of messy.

Apparently there are hundreds of institutions that make a lot of money “treating” kids who are diagnosed with “Internet addiction.” Internet addiction is defined as spending more than six hours a day at the computer. By that definition, it is claimed that 10 percent of the Internet-using public in China is addicted: 30,000. It was estimated that 3,000 had already been zapped.

I’m going to end this now without making any jokes about my friends who spend more than six hours a day on WoW.


NY Times story here.

Tom Kelchner