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IPFS News Link • China

The Panic Over 'Social Media Addiction' Threatens Free Speech

•, Jeffrey Singer

It has been more than 10 years since China's health ministry officially recognized "Internet Addiction Disorder" as a disease. And although the evidence for such a designation remains far from solid, the consequences of that designation have been startlingly clear.

The Chinese government has, among other things, restricted new internet cafes from opening, requiring them to be closed during certain times of the day, and limiting time adolescents may spend at internet cafes. Meanwhile, a network of boot camps, many of which are government run, have sprung up across the country in which many of the government-estimated 23 million young "internet addicts" are enrolled to receive treatment for what has been dubbed "electronic heroin."