Internet addiction: deadly pathology or just a nice substitute for TV?

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Fri Aug 7 04:03:12 UTC 2009

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

Internet addiction: deadly pathology or just a nice substitute for TV?

This week 15-year-old Deng Senshan died from beatings while being  
treated for internet addiction at a Chinese internet rehabilitation  

China considers its 300 million internet users pathological as well as  
criminal, so not only does the government deploy 30,000 internet  
police to patrol the country’s firewall to make sure no one's posting  
anything subversive, but it also funds eight centers to treat the  
growing numbers of young internet addicts.

These internet rehab “clinics” – actually prison-like facilities with  
metal grates, barred windows, and padlocked doors – treat compulsive  
surfers for 7,000 Yuan (about $1,024) a month with methods that  
include corporal punishment, drugs, hypnosis, and electric shock.  
China’s Health Ministry recently banned shock therapy for internet- 
related psychiatric disorders, and authorities are now investigating  
the Guangxi clinic where the beating occurred.

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Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321

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