France Bans Words, ‘Twitter’ And ‘Facebook’ From TV/Radio
France has, and continues to ban the names of both social networking sites from being spoken on radio or television, unless of course, the terms are part of a news story. Before you go crazy, the reasoning isn’t quite as absurd as our use of “Freedom Fries.”
The ban dates back to a 1992 decree (law issued by head of state) that claims the mentioning of such names as an act of advertising. France believes that saying “Facebook” or “Twitter” is preferential toward successful social networking sites, and takes the spotlight from other lesser known social networking sites.
A spokesperson for France’s Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), Christine Kelly, 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?'”
I can see where the French government is coming from, although I have to admit, it doesn’t really instill the respect of its citizens to make educated decisions or open their horizons to new things. I would be insulted if my government wouldn’t trust me to open my eyes to other, lesser known social networking sites.
Then again, I don’t actively search out no-name social networking sites, and even if I did, it would be quite counterproductive of my time, given that I would have to beg my friends to join the no-name networking site. They would probably say, “Dude, just join Facebook.”