Posted in: Communication, cybercrime, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views, Web browsers
Next time you hear folks lamenting how much time Americans spend on the Internet, offer this little bit of perspective: In China, it was discovered that some Web addicts were getting shock treatments for their problem.
According to IDG News, China has banned the use of this controversial treatment after its use at one hospital sparked nationwide controversy.
The hospital drew lots of attention in recent months after Internet users who claimed to have received the treatment wrote in blogs and forums about being tied down and subjected to shocks for 30 minutes at a time.
A statement on the Chinese health ministry’s Web site said the practice had no medical foundation and forbid its clinical use. The order banned the practice nationwide but specifically mentioned a notorious hospital in eastern Shandong province.
A hospital spokeswoman said “sensationalized” media reports had already led it to cease the practice. The shocks were meant to cause subjects to associate a negative result with Internet use, according to the hospital.
Subjects were forced to admit to faults while receiving the shocks, some Internet user accounts said.
Government-funded treatment centers for Internet addiction have sprung up around China in recent years, though the health ministry has not officially labeled it a legit medical condition. Many children are tricked by parents into going to the centers, which often deliver a mix of military boot camp and therapy sessions.
Now if those Web addicts were terrorists, maybe some U.S. government officials might just call this “enhanced therapy.”
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