China was one of the first countries to recognise internet addiction as a psychological illness — and then beat the crap out of people suffering from it. As The Register points out, a 2008 government supported report stated that those who gamed more than six hours in a day and then experienced withdrawal type symptoms suffered from Internet Addiction Disorder.
To combat this, treatment clinics, which looked more like boot camps and less like hospitals, appeared across China. No wonder a group of kids escaped from one of these centres back in 2010.
At these treatment centres, both electro-therapy and "therapeutic" physical punishment have been banned; however, one teen still ended up dead and others in the hospital. (The men who killed that teen both got up to 10 years in prison.)
After strengthening regulations even more, China started licensing internet therapists, and China Daily reports that instructors who use violence will now have their licenses revoked. Good.
Web addiction instructors face scrutiny [China Daily]
China's net addiction staff told to stop the beatings [The Register]
Image: Andy Wong/AP