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Teen Killed At Chinese Internet Addiction Camp 334

Posted by Soulskill
from the symptomatic-overreactions dept.
eldavojohn writes "Sixteen-year-old Deng Senshan was tragically beaten to death by three of his instructors in an internet addiction camp in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. Reportedly it was for not being able to run fast enough. An article in the Wall Street Journal says that, 'China's netizens have played a key role in drawing nationwide attention to recent cases of deaths in prisons and detention centers, so it should be no surprise that they are up in arms over the fate of one of their own. Many questioned the fairly new diagnosis of "Internet addiction" as a mental disorder.' You may recall electroshock treatment being banned from use on internet addicts in China. According to Xinhua, more than 100 juveniles remain in 'treatment' at the camp, which has stayed open. Perhaps for Senshan it would have been better to let him endure his cruel affliction instead of having his parents pay over $1,000 to have him beaten to death?"
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Teen Killed At Chinese Internet Addiction Camp

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  • Don't worry (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:19AM (#28956979)
    Don't worry, he'll respawn in a few seconds
  • Upshot (Score:5, Funny)

    by decipher_saint (72686) * on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:20AM (#28957019) Homepage

    On the upshot, that kid is no longer addicted to gaming...

    • He obviously forgot to use his speed buff.

    • Yeah, but I think the "cure" is worse than the disease in this case.
    • by selven (1556643)
      Don't worry, he'll have a computer in his grave so he'll be happily playing the not-known-to-the-living-world Scourge expansion.
  • Beware (Score:5, Funny)

    by sunderland56 (621843) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:22AM (#28957047)
    If internet addition is now punishable by death, Slashdot is going to become a very, very lonely place.
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:24AM (#28957083)

    Perhaps for Senshan it would have been better to let him endure his cruel affliction instead of having his parents pay over $1,000 to have him beaten to death?

    And knowing China, they probably also charged his parents for the cost of the stick used to beat him.

    Also, I don't know much about these "internet addiction" facilities. Are we talking about people who spend too much time playing WoW, or dissidents who use the internet for communication? Somehow I'm seeing this as being a gulag for political prisoners, but maybe that's just me being cynical.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FooAtWFU (699187)
      The sad thing is, I don't think they're even a gulag for political prisoners -- if they were, the beatings and such would at least make a modicum of sense (a perverted one, but sense nonetheless)... it seems they're doing this for their own valued citizens. Fun, hmm?
    • by icegreentea (974342) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:40AM (#28957389)
      Maybe there are some camps that are gulags. But I think the majority of the cases are 'legit'. My family is Chinese (from Taiwan, pretty much same culture) and we live in Canada, so I got a relatively watered down version of the 'Asian/Chinese Parents' thing. And I can really see parents sending off their kids for spending too much time playing video games. Among my circle of friends, I know a lot of kids who just utterly fucked up school from gaming too much (this is before alcohol and drugs... and forget about girls), and I know a lot of their parents would try to do more. But really, a motivated teenager is going to somehow get around nearly everything their parents will try. I remember when my parents locked up the TV behind a cabinet so my brother and I would spend less time watching TV/playing SNES (yeah, that was a while ago). We just took the cabinet doors off its hinges whenever they were gone (even the best parents can't be there all the time).

      So, given conditions in China (those parents are bound to be away working more than the typical parents here), as well as how addicting those games really are, and that Chinese parents generally really do want their kids to 'succeed', I really can see parents sending kids off to Internet (or Gaming) addiction camp. I mean hell, we have Fat Camps in North America to deal with our problem with obese kids, they have Internet Addiction Camps to deal with their problem with kids gaming way too much. This is no excuse for abuse and killing the poor kid. That shit's fucking horrible. Fuckers should be put in jail. And I think they will be. China might be a totalitarian government, but they still have to pretend to care.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by steelfood (895457)

        China might be a totalitarian government, but they still have to pretend to care.

        No, they have to care. Otherwise, there'll be unrest all over, and the minority groups like the Uyghurs and Tibetans will take advantage of the situation to cause more problems. Local governments aren't necessarily subject to the same restrictions as the central government, but if things start getting too ridiculous, the low-level politicans in charge will pay.

      • by ElephanTS (624421)

        ... and forget about girls

        You must be new here

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192) *

        Maybe there are some camps that are gulags. But I think the majority of the cases are 'legit'.

        It's not like the same thing doesn't happen in the US. A kid in Florida died after being beaten by his boot camp instructors. The beating was even caught on tape. The murderers got off scot free [go.com].

        At least that incident prompted Florida to close its boot camps. Hopefully this incident will get China to close its camps.

  • by IronDragon (74186) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:24AM (#28957087) Homepage

    I can only wonder if there have been other deaths in this program that did not make the news.

    • by ausekilis (1513635) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:35AM (#28957311)
      What is truly remarkable about this particular story is they say their son started this training Saturday, and was declared dead on Sunday (3 am was it?). Even worse, the mission statement said their methods were "harsh, but no harm will be done", yet the body was bloody and showed signs of restraint and struggle (handcuff bruising on his wrists).

      The poor kid didn't even make it one day, yet the camp took a stand much like the Chinese government, denying that anything happened and that the kid had a fever. Apparently in China fevers involve a bruised/bloodied face and handcuffs. China has had attention called to it's human rights violations before, now that we are seeing the murder of a child that didn't do anything wrong in worldwide news, maybe we'll start seeing global pressure on China to change their ways a bit.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by maxume (22995)

        Maybe. The problem is that many westerners are comfortable with harsh treatment for people they have mentally classified as 'bad'.

        For example, see the blase attitude of many Americans towards prison rape and so forth.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Belegothmog (712435)

        China has had attention called to it's human rights violations before, now that we are seeing the murder of a child that didn't do anything wrong in worldwide news, maybe we'll start seeing global pressure on China to change their ways a bit.

        Dear China,

        Please stop killing the internet addicts. We really need the money that you're loaning to us to finance our bailout and people may become a little uncomfortable if they ever link our financial system with murder in their little heads. While the chances of this are remote, and the chances of them actually boycotting Chinese made goods even less, it would still make our lives and our re-elections campaigns much easier if you could stop, or at least cover up better, these little murders.

        Thank y

      • maybe we'll start seeing global pressure on China to change their ways a bit.

        you're new, here, aren't you?

        2000lb gorillas don't take to 'rational talk' and china does not listen to the world.

        if we stopped buying walmart goods for a month, they'd listen. but the US won't do that. we need cheap goods that break quickly and are unsafe! china to the rescue.

    • by ZackSchil (560462)

      The father is rich, well-connected to the police, and hellbent on getting the word out, yet he couldn't even get more than the most basic details of the crime. It's an extremely sad state of affairs.

      • Mind you, when they do figure out what happened, they'll probably line the accused up on their knees and walk down the line putting bullets in the backs of their heads.
      • by jc42 (318812)

        The father is rich, well-connected to the police, and hellbent on getting the word out, yet he couldn't even get more than the most basic details of the crime.

        And this probably answers the question posed in this thread's title. If a rich, well-connected father has to fight the "blue wall of silence", what chance have other parents who aren't so rich and/or well-connected?

        Whenever you find only the powerful being successful at publicising bad news, you should assume that you're just seeing the "tip of the i

    • I can only wonder if there have been other deaths in this program that did not make the news.

      Probably. What I can't believe is that no one seems to be questioning the assumptions of this nonsense (or if they are, the media in its usual incompetent or complicit way is ignorning it): that internet addiction even exists, period.

      The very concept is farcical. Like "television addiction", there may be people whose lifestyles are too sedentary, whose lives center more on the couch or computer than most of us are

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Psyborgue (699890)
        Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baronâ(TM)s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth.
    • From the article it says that the father had to go to a police officer he knew to find out. I wouldn't be surprised either. What gets me is why they have to protest for this to be investigated. There are probably a bunch of kids that saw it happen not to mention the doctors and nurses. It should be a pretty clear cut case. I also don't know what the principal was thinking. You could not cover up that big of an incident.
  • for what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:25AM (#28957107)

    Reportedly it was for not being able to run fast enough

    If only China had the same attitude towards Windows...

  • If a sauce is supposed to run when poured, but doesn't, beating it never helps. Simmering over low heat is a much better option.

    • by Shatrat (855151)
      You could whisk in a little white wine over some heat, but I don't see how that stops me from refreshing Woot.com.
    • So... what you're saying is, they should have lit a fire under him?

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:28AM (#28957181)

    When I saw this, I couldn't help but think about the classical Rowan Atkinson sketch [youtube.com].

  • by Flea of Pain (1577213) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:32AM (#28957237)
    FTA: "Deng Fei paid the camp 7,000 yuan ($1,024) for one month of training."

    Does anyone else see the irony in sending a bunch of computer nerds to camp, and charging them a nice even binary number to do it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AndrewNeo (979708)

      I don't think 7 is a binary number. Er, a number involved in binary.

    • > FTA: "Deng Fei paid the camp 7,000 yuan ($1,024) for one month of training."

      I wonder, if he's gonna get a refund now...:

      "Dear Sir,

      due to lesser than anticipated expenses regarding the training of your son we're very happy to confirm an immediate charge-back of 6947 Yuan (7000Y - 50Y/1 day lodging - 2Y/wooden stick - 1Y/floor-cleaning solution) to your credit card. To adjust for certain inconveniences we'd further like to send you these '50% OFF' attendance vouchers which your other children can take ad

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:36AM (#28957327)

    Did he drop any good items?

  • by Dgtl_+_Phoenix (1256140) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @09:37AM (#28957331)
    In America, you can beat internet addiction. In communist China, internet addiction beats you.
  • Not just China (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:27AM (#28958265) Homepage Journal
    This sort of thing happens all the time in the states. Google "Aaron Bacon" and he's hardly the only one. US boot camps have a really bad history in this area only nobody seems to care very much since they kids were somehow "troubled" (allegedly, since there is no due process).
  • Hrm. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Steauengeglase (512315) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @10:36AM (#28958385)

    "Reportedly it was for not being able to run fast enough."

    Isn't that the reason why anyone gets beaten to death?

    • > "Reportedly it was for not being able to run fast enough."

      I told him to press Shift...but NOOOoooooooo!

  • by lbjay (34118) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:13AM (#28958915) Homepage
    There was an interesting, personal account of what its like in these treatment centers in the March 2007 issue of Harpers. http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/03/0081438 [harpers.org] [not free, sadly]
  • When I was little, we had "internet addiction camp" too. We called it, "Camp." There were all kinds of activities from learning about native american myths, to swimming, sailing, ropes courses, firearms, hikes...

    So many things to pique your interest in activity. How could anyone want to waste a lot of time in "second" life when they could be living real life?

  • Kids die at criminal justice reform schools and at the tough-love summer camps when kids get out of line with their peers. TV news magazines have done several stories on these tragedies.
  • Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _KiTA_ (241027) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @11:57AM (#28959655) Homepage

    I liked these "Internet Addiction Camps" better when they were called "Summer Camp".

    Seriously, when I got too into games as a kid (Dragon Warrior 3, Wizardry 2, and Final Fantasy 2 being the early ones) my mother just walked in, hit the power button, and told me to go outside and not come back in until the sun was down.

    Why is this such a hard concept? Is it an asian culture thing? I mean, think of Japan. You have hikikomoris, sitting in the dark in their rooms, with parents enabling them by just feeding them sliced cheese through the crack under the door. China and Kroea have people literally playing video games until their bladders burst and they die.

    Granted, A+ for effort but big fat F for common sense, eh?

    Is "He'll leave the room when he gets hungry enough" or "Just turn off the freaking router" such a hard concept?

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