Nineteen Year Old Girl Abused To Death At Chinese Internet Addiction Camp

from the permanently-offline dept

While there has been blissfully only minor advancement in the US about the non-existent disease known as "internet addiction", the same can't be said of certain other countries. South Korea has a version of it, which mostly involves shutting down online video games for a certain portion of the day. But the real mover and shaker in this made up land of dependency is China, where six hours online a day makes you an addict (someone tell my employer!) and they've actually gone so far as to create internet addiction "camps" where people learn to eschew cat videos, Facebook posts about food, and ostensibly the news posted online that they're probably being horribly abused at that very camp.

That seems to be the tone of the reporting now that one family has been compensated $120,000 after their 19 year old girl was killed at one of these camps.

Earlier this year in May, LingLing passed away in a hospital in Zhengzhou, Henan province. It was reported by the Chinese media that she actually died before reaching the hospital. LingLing was reported to be attending Zhengzhou Boqiang New Idea Life Training School. While at addiction camp, LingLing was singled out by her instructors. She was reportedly taken to "extra" lessons on more than one occasion. According to another girl that attended the addiction camp, LingLing was singled out. According to the media and government reports, LingLing was beaten and dropped onto hard surfaces. The Zhengzhou coroners office reported that LingLing died from extreme head trauma.
I guess I'm not really certain what picture I had in my head when I imagined an internet addiction camp, but it sure as hell didn't involve young women getting their brains beaten so badly that they expire. Also, that hundred-and-twenty-large seems a little light, considering the horror this family had to go through after being duped into believing such an internment was necessary to begin with. It all sounds worse when the report goes on to state that incidents of abuse have happened at these camps several times before as well.

So, while the "camp" in question, the one that essentially murdered a young girl, has had its license revoked, Chinese parents are going to have to start asking themselves which is more dangerous: "internet addiction" or the camps that purport to fix internet addiction.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Jul 24th, 2014 @ 6:15am

    Just like there is a cure for the gayness.

     

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  2.  
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    SickFRS (profile), Jul 24th, 2014 @ 6:15am

    Poor girl, rich family

    I'm assuming since the $ sign was use it means US dollars. The current exchange rate says that's nearly 750,000 in Yuan (Chinese currency). Having a friend in China we discussed a few years ago about income there. She worked for a gov owned newspaper and considered her pay to be above average. She was salaried and in US dollars she still made less than $500 per month. Now if you meant 120,000 Yuan, not US dollars then the family came out with about $20,000 US dollars... still about 3-4 years of "above average" salary which is far less compensatory.

     

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  3.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 24th, 2014 @ 6:40am

    We do it for the children!

    Or something.

    I wonder if the Government hints the family to send their kin to such places...

     

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  4.  
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    mcinsand, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 6:42am

    'addiction'

    I'm old enough to remember when the word 'addiction' had a completely different meaning. Please don't misunderstand me; I'm not saying that I long for the 'good old days.' There was a lot that was wrong and that we are starting to out grow. However, we have also let some mistakes slip into our culture. Redefinition of 'addiction' has been one of those mistakes.

    When a substance was addictive, ending access meant putting health at serious risk. Heroin is the prime example, and detoxing is a serious health event. However, in the late '70's or early '80's, US news organizations found that the conditioned reaction to the word still got attention (i.e. viewers, readers, listeners, etc.) even when the meaning was watered down. At first, it was substances that might create something like a headache or some other mild physiological effect if dropped. That already dilutes the meaning of 'addiction' to being pointless. Eat a sugar-rich piece of fruit the same time every day, and you will get an insulin spike on the day that you miss it. That isn't addiction... unless your ABC News and it's sweeps week.

    Then we get to today. 'Addiction' refers to any substance or activity that a person will want to do more than once. I miss my morning bike ride when I don't get it. There aren't any other effects, besides the fact that I like to start my day with the peace and quiet. In today's lingo, though, I am addicted.

    Apparently, some countries still treat the word as if it has meaning if the associated 'addiction' does not, including gross over-reactions such as this.

    We should really strike the word from the dictionary, with the meaning so completely lost. People might enjoy social media, and they might really miss the interaction when they don't get it. But 'addiction?' The only addiction I see is the media's addiction to generating drama.

     

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  5.  
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    Michael, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 6:50am

    Does this go into the stats as her having been "cured"?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 7:18am

    These Internet Addiction Camps...

    ...are they reporting to Beijing over the internet?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 7:22am

    Obviously...

    China has labeled these people addicts because they're worried that 6 hours/day on the internet, they might actually figure out their government is censoring everything for them.

    Clearly, sending them away to a ... camp is the only good way to cleanse them from the country.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 7:45am

    Only six hours per day?

    With the "Internet of Things" and other always-connected stuff, in the future it will be normal to be online 24 hours per day (yes, even while you sleep).

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 7:46am

    (gaming) " six hours online a day makes you an addict (someone tell my employer!) "

    If you're playing 6 hours a day, maybe someone should tell your employer.

    Come on techdirt, lets not loose focus.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jul 24th, 2014 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    Nowhere in the article does it say shit about gaming. Nor is that what this "addiction"* is referencing. The big scare is about social networking overpowering real lives and people not having real acquaintances, not video games.

    *I know I'm not suppose to use quotes to emphasize a word (Thanks Weird Al), but everyone is using that word and it's not the right word.

     

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  11.  
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    beech, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 8:13am

    Sounds like the addiction camp counsellors play too many violent video games.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re:

    To be fair a good portion of teens sent to these camps are partially due to videogaming. One of several cases was mentioned in Reader's Digest a few years back, involving a kid who played 1.5 hours a day. His concerned parents had him sent to a camp where he was eventually electrocuted to death.

    The saddest part of the whole affair is that they realized that "he didn't really play that much", and their only photographs of him are stuck on his computer which they're too illiterate to access, so they kept his computer as a memento.

    Just sad.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 9:04am

    Re: 'addiction'

    ...'Addiction' refers to any substance or activity that a person will want to do more than once...

    Important distinction: do you want to do (substance/activity) instead of what you need to do?

    Yes, there is dispute as to what is and is not addictive, including internet and games. The Wikipedia article on addictions includes a 9 question paragraph. Even if you dispute the article the 9 questions are a good baseline to ask yourself, or anybody you think might have a problem. Answering yes to any of the questions means you need to take a look at what's happening to you (or to the person you think might have a problem.)

     

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  14.  
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    McCrea (profile), Jul 24th, 2014 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    Well, as long as they do it offline.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 9:39am

    Celestine Doudet-- A Parallel Case A Hundred and Sixty Years Ago

    The internet addiction camps remind me of the curious case of Celestine Doudet, back in 1852-55. Mary Hartman did a chapter on the case in her book _Victorian Murderesses_, and I gather that Pauline Conolly has now done a book-length treatment, _The Water Doctor's Daughters_.

    http://sueyounghistories.com/archives/2009/02/12/james-loftus-marsden-1815-1891/
    http://ww w.waverley.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/57677/Conolly,_Pauline_-_The_Water_Doctors_Daughte rs.pdf
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:K4PWdEq77OwJ:http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/__d ata/assets/pdf_file/0005/57677/Conolly,_Pauline_-_The_Water_Doctors_Daughters.pdf%2Bcelestine+doudet &hl=en&gbv=1&&ct=clnk

    Reduced to essentials, the story is one of how society reacted to affluent children who displayed objectively normal, but subtly threatening behavior. In 1852, the five daughters of a English doctor, James Marsden, were suspected of masturbation. Respectable women were simply not supposed to be interested in sex, and this applied with even greater force to young girls. So the girls were sent to Paris away with a severe governess who had orders "to beat and starve it out of them." The gooverness, Celestine Doudet, beat and starved to such purpose that two of the girls soon died. There was a trial in France, which gave French official opinion the chance to say some unkind things about the general underlying kinkiness of English repression.

    Allowing for differences in times and places, the Chinese internet scare seems basically similar. One reccurent truth is that things happen in private psychiatric hospitals which would never be allowed in a prison.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 11:10am

    China is becoming more American everyday, Welcome to the West.

     

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  17.  
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    DogBreath, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    Remember, even apparently innocent video games were once a big problem too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Rekrul, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 5:41pm

    Re: 'addiction'

    When a substance was addictive, ending access meant putting health at serious risk.

    Like the stuff my parents forced me to use? It was called "food".

    At first, it was substances that might create something like a headache or some other mild physiological effect if dropped.

    If I don't get at least a couple doses of "food" every single day, I develop headaches, stomach pains, I get weak and have trouble concentrating.

    Then we get to today. 'Addiction' refers to any substance or activity that a person will want to do more than once.

    I've been using "food" two, sometimes three or more times a day for most of my life! I'm addicted!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    relghuar, Jul 24th, 2014 @ 11:10pm

    let's troll :-)

    Personally, I'm much more worried about people being addicted to clothes. Women in particular. You noticed how rarely you see one without clothes? Someone should damn well do something about that!

     

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  20.  
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    c f, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 12:33am

    In Soviet Russia...

    In Soviet Russia, nineteen year old girl Internet-addicted at Chinese death camp.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    John85851 (profile), Jul 25th, 2014 @ 1:35pm

    Re: 'addiction'

    I agree.

    But people use the word "addiction" so they don't have to take responsibility for their actions. "It's not my fault I use Facebook all day, I'm addicted and it can't be helped".

    And since people are "addicted", they can claim they're "sick" to get sympathy. And pretty soon health insurance companies will figure out how to charge big money whenever people want to get "treatment" for these "addictions".
    Here's a hint: just stop using Facebook. It's not a mind-altering substance like tobacco or alcohol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2014 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: 'addiction'

    Yes, and oxygen is the opiate of the masses. One whiff and you're addicted for life.

    /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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