If you have been a fan of Q&A or ABC’s 7:30, you would have notice they spring up Twitter a lot. Turns out, in France, news programmes are no longer allowed to actually say the words “Facebook” or “Twitter” on the air unless it is part of the news story. Weird, huh?
But why? Well, in France, there’s apparently a decree that was issued in 1992 that forbids any news program to promote any commercial enterprise – which means that you won’t get the French equivalent of Leigh Sales promoting her Twitter feed, instead she would have to now link you to a URL to a page where you can find them on Facebook or Twitter.
The regulators over at France insist that the French Government is simply upholding the law, saying that if they allowed Facebook and Twitter to be mentioned outside the restrictions, it would be “opening a Pandora’s Box” for other social networks and corporations.
“Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition?” a spokesperson said in a statement to ZDNet.
However, this is obviously going to be difficult to maintain, especially as both Facebook and Twitter have been engraved in the popular consciousness – and what about the word “tweet”? That word now directly references a message on Twitter. Will that fall foul of that law?