France Bans Facebook, Twitter (Just Names)

France has banned the names of social networking giants, Facebook and Twitter from being spoken on TV or radio, unless the terms are part of a news story. This stops the anchors from asking their audience to “follow us on Twitter” or “check out our Facebook page”

A spokesperson for France’s Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), explains:

Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition. This would be a distortion of competition. If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it’s opening a Pandora’s Box– other social networks will complain to us saying, ‘why not us?’

French government decree issued on March 27 1992 states that, promotion of commercial enterprise on new programs is forbidden.

Weeping French Man
British-Canadian journalist, Mathew Fraser points that this type of regulation is absurd, especially when Facebook and Twitter have become a part of everyday life.

What possibly could have possessed the French regulator to impose such a ridiculous rule is not entirely clear — at least when the test of common sense is applied. Perhaps the officials inside France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel don’t quite grasp that television and radio shows around the world now routinely urge their audiences to connect and follow events via online social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook and Twitter are, of course, American social networks. In France, they are regarded, at least implicitly, as symbols of Anglo-Saxon global dominance — along with Apple, MTV, McDonald’s, Hollywood, Disneyland, and other cultural juggernauts.

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