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Germany Online Discusses: What is Internet Addiction?

A new survey estimates that over half a million people in Germany are addicted to the web. But what exactly is meant by addiction? It’s an issue that is hotly debated among the online community. The German government’s drugs czar has made combating web addiction a major focus of her work. She points to estimates from researchers at the universities of Lübeck and Greifswald. They say that 2.5 million Germans are at "acute risk”. Few people question that web addiction is a problem - but opinion remains very divided over causes and clear definitions. At the same time, non-stop surfers themselves are extremely critical of the responsible government agency. Berlin-based blogger Patricia Cammarata fears the authorities could class the Internet as a danger zone.

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The German government’s drugs czar has made combating web addiction a major focus of her work. She points to estimates from researchers at the universities of Lübeck and Greifswald. They say that 2.5 million Germans are at "acute risk”. Few people question that web addiction is a problem - but opinion remains very divided over causes and clear definitions. At the same time, non-stop surfers themselves are extremely critical of the responsible government agency. Berlin-based blogger Patricia Cammarata fears the authorities could class the Internet as a danger zone.