June 23, 2014

China's Terrible Cure for Teenage Internet Addiction

Lily Kuo, Quartz

AP

Last week, a 19-year-old girl at a rehab center for teenage internet addicts in Henan province died after being kicked and dropped by her instructors for two hours, part of a disciplinary “training session” for not asking permission to go to the bathroom. Guo Lingling’s autopsy showed that she died from skull and brain damage (link in Chinese). Her death is the latest example of military-style boot camps—intended to cure China’s supposed millions of internet addicts—gone horribly wrong. Ever since China classified internet addiction as a mental disorder in 2008, parents have been sending their children to camps that promise to cure them through military-style training and discipline. Estimates for the number of these internet-addiction camps, some of which employ former...

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