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11.29.2008

Next stop for internet users: the ankang - psychiatric hospital

Yesterday the General hospital of Beijing Military District issued the

Criteria to Diagnose Internet Addiction. (网络成瘾诊断标准)

Unfortunately a full text of this very interesting rule is not available yet. But, according to news releases as this one and this one excessive use of the internet is considered a psychiatric pathology.

Question: which criteria are used to determine when internet use becomes "excessive"?

Well, if you spend more than 6 consecutive hours a day online, if this behaviour lasts for more than three months (or if you fit at least one of the following five conditions) then it is possible to say that you are addicted to the internet. Different methods are used to cure this alleged psychiatric pathology. A few interesting ones are mentioned here.

Adoption of the Criteria is sparking a controversy within Chinese legal circles. Because according to its vague and ill-defined criteria, you'd have to lock up in the ankang most white collar workers, not to mention students, most of the staff at universities, software engineers and all those who need to use the internet because of their work. This is a masterpiece of poor legal drafting.

Don't worry, if you are wrongly convicted you can get a compensation, as this man did. And even if someone will use means of restraint on you, sooner or later you might be freed and also get your picture in the newspapers as a bonus.

One nice place you may wish to choose in order to get rid of your internet addiction is the Wuhan Psychiatric Hospital, that kindly wishes you peace, serenity and good health too!