The Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), France’s equivalent of the Federal Communications Commission, banned the use of the words “Facebook” and “Twitter” on French television unless they are included in news stories about the respective social networks, TechCrunch reported.
The agency’s logic: Use of those words is equivalent to advertising and promoting those social networks over others, according to TechCrunch, which added that advertisers looking to promote their presence on the social networks will have to use generic terminology, such as, “Find us on social networking sites,” instead of, “Find us on Facebook,” or, “Follow us on Twitter.”
CSA spokeswoman Christine Kelly told Yahoo! News, “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?’”
TechCrunch added that the CSA ruling has nothing to do with France’s Toubon Laws, which regulate the adoption of English words.
The good news: Friendster, Bebo, and Myspace are apparently still fair game on French TV.