Mentions of the names of some of the worlds most popular social networking websites, Facebook and Twitter, are now officially banned in France according to the The Guardian.
French officials reportedly banned broadcasters from mentioning the companies names due to the fact that it was considered to be breaking the 1992 citations that banned subliminal advertising. The Superior Audiovisual Council considered the mentions of Twitter and Facebook to be an example of “clandestine advertising.”
One prominent French blogger and creator of the popular social networking application company Seesmic, Loic Le Meur, went to his Twitter page to rant about the ban. “French regulation forbids TV networks to say Facebook or Twitter? My country is screwed,” Meur said.
The Superior Audiovisual Council released the news of the ban late last month saying that those in the media industry may only address those two specific social networking sites by name if it is specifically part of a news story.
“Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are other social networks that are struggling for recognition,” said CSA spokesperson, Christine Kelly according to The Guardian. “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?'”
According to the CSA, the ban came about because of the continuous requests from radio stations asking listeners to follow their social networking sites.
Kelly said the CSA was shocked by the outpouring of complaints.
But according to CBC News, the decision for the ban came weeks after French political officials, including President Nicolas Sarkozy, discussed the future of regulating the Internet with the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.