Chinese corporation surrogates parents
No, not like you are thinking. But it’s bad all the same.
Chinese tech giant Tencent has just launched a facial recognition system that will prevent people under 18 from playing on that platform between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
The system, called Midnight Patrol, should thwart traditional tactics used to get around current age restrictions such as using their parents’ identities or devices: “Anyone who refuses or fails face verification will be treated as a minor, included in the anti-addiction supervision of Tencent’s game health system and kicked offline”.
This is appalling, of course. BUT…
Gaming addiction is obviously bad, and the sooner it happens, the worst it is. Lack of sleep is a public health crisis, especially serious among teenagers. If this were the only side of the equation, Midnight Patrol would surely be an overdue, very positive public service, that should likely be imposed in every country.
Then again, what we have here is a corporation directly, heavily controlling and influencing the activities of millions of children (because local laws say so, by the way). This is bad, no question about it.
But the real problem is that there so many millions of children without parents able to teach something as basic as decent sleeping habits. Everywhere, of course, not just in China. China only happens to be the place where Tencent-like solutions to a problem like this are feasible.