This fascinating documentary goes inside China’s dreaded internet rehab camps

Do you find yourself refreshing your blog posts at traffic lights? Feel itchy and irritable when the Internet is out? Wake up in the middle of the night to change your Facebook status? That’s OK, we all do. 

But keep it to yourself when in the People’s Republic, or you might wake up groggy from sleeping pills at one of China’s terrible internet rehab camps, where electrodes will be connected to your scalp and drill sergeants will forcibly reconnect you to the reality that you have lost. If you cry you’ll be allowed to write a letter to your mom. 

The New York Times has gone inside these technological detention centers, which are pretty much Anthony Burgess’s vision of juvenile rehabilitation for level 99 World of Warcraft players. There’s always the chance, as there is with any news about China, that what we’re seeing has been sensationalized to make China seem like more of a hellscape. Then again: take a look.

Image by Peter Zuehlke, Bradmays via Wikimedia Commons