A clinic for Facebook addicts has opened in Algeria amid fears vulnerable users are becoming brainwashed by extremist Islamist groups on the ‘blue magic’ social network.
The private facility has been opened in the eastern city of Constantine offering programmes specifically designed for social media users.
The clinic is the first of its kind in the region, and the third in the world after China and South Korea.
This comes after it was revealed that there are 10 million Facebook users in the country – and that the number of users is growing by 10 per cent a year.
The clinic’s director, Human development scientist Raouf Boqafa, said he feared some vulnerable users were being targeted by Islamists who use the site as a recruitment tool.
Boqafa compared the effects of the social media network to “black magic”, and argues that Facebook poses the greatest danger.
Boqafa argues that “Facebook addicts” are vulnerable to being brainwashed by extremist Islamist groups who use the internet as a recruiting tool.
To combat this, the treatment centre offers patients a space for counseling, Boqafa hopes they will discover the real reasons for their addiction and the clinic will help ween Algerians off their Facebook dependency. Reports the New Arab