Yes, you read it right. France has banned the use of words ‘Facebook’ and Twitter on TV and radio news programs in the country. What this means is that TV and radio news programs can’t mention names of these social networks unless and until they are a part of a news story.
It goes without saying that social networks are integrated in our lives more than ever before. Facebook is nearing the 700 million worldwide users milestone whereas Twitter is nearing 300 million users worldwide. So naturally, these social networks have opened up a whole new dimension in marketing as a diverse demographic use these social networks.
What is the downside to this regulation for the news organizations in France? Well now they can’t exactly say phrases such as: Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter, because the regulation prohibits the use of these words if they are not part of a news story.
Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel of France has put forward a logical reason for this regulation. They say that why should news organizations promote social networks which are already established and are worth billions of dollars while those social networks which are trying to establish their name in the industry are ignored. This would only lead to complaints from these networks.
This regulation does not hinder journalistic activities in the countries though, but news organizations would definitely not be happy for losing potential followers on Facebook and Twitter.