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Facebook, Twitter Banned on French TV

Oh, come on guys, what the facebook?

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Facebook, Twitter Banned on French TV
[ Social Media]

You thought some the rules lording over communication here in the States were infuriatingly pedantic, get a load of this:

France’s broadcasting regulation organization, the CSA, has banned the casual use of the words “Facebook” and “Twitter” on the air. The just issued decree cites an article from another decree issued in 1992.

Paris-based writer Matthew Fraser notes that “the French are notorious for their obsession with maddening, micro-meddling rules and regulations,” and that the country is “infamous for its oppressive bureaucratic culture of legalistic codes and decrees. The term ‘French bureaucracy’ is shorthand for the worst imaginable Kafkaesque nightmare.”

Well, this kind of proves that.

The only time radio or television broadcasters can say “Facebook” or “Twitter” now is if the two companies make the news. For example, “Social Network Facebook involved in scandal” would technically be permitted. But things like “Follow us on Twitter” are strictly prohibited. This new regulation takes away a powerful tool that news organizations uses to connect with viewers.

Imagine if the FCC told CNN that they couldn’t ask users to follow them on Twitter? They would go absolutely berserk. But according to Fraser, this new regulation came and went with little media coverage or outrage, save a few French bloggers.

What is the reasoning behind this seemingly ridiculous new regulation? A CSA spokesperson had this to say:

Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition,” she said. “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?

So it’s about fairness? Neutrality in journalism? Money?

Facebook and Twitter are so much a part of everyday life around the world, that it seems disingenuous to say that other lesser social networks deserve equal mention. They simply aren’t as important, and therefore aren’t discussed nearly as much. In order for a news organization to ask viewers to “like” them on Facebook, should they also be forced to tell viewers to follow them on MySpace? It’s ludicrous.

Fraser has a different explanation, one that the CSA would obviously never cop to:

But there is another, more plausible, explanation. Facebook and Twitter are, of course, American social networks. In France, they are regarded — at least implicitly — as symbols of Anglo-Saxon global dominance — along with Apple, MTV, McDonald’s, Hollywood, Disneyland, and other cultural juggernauts. That there is a deeply-rooted animosity in the French psyche towards Anglo-Saxon cultural domination cannot be disputed; indeed, it has been documented and analysed for decades. Sometimes this cultural resentment finds expression in French regulations and laws, frequently described, and often denounced, by foreigners as protectionism.

Yeah, I guess Americans do give the French a pretty hard time sometimes. And I can understand a little bit of hostility towards American cultural intrusion. But banning “Facebook” and “Twitter?” That’s just burying your head in the sand.

Facebook, Twitter Banned on French TV
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  • Information junk food

    It’s a little hard to hide your bias with the little thumbs up button.

    It’s not really a free speech issue. No one could possibly be hurt by this action. It’s a non story to anyone but bloggers who only care about their page view count.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      yes, because we all know how searched French TV is…

  • http://wepolls.com Craig

    Sounds like cultural insecurity to me.

  • http://kokoarena.com KokoArena

    the statement that mentioning these companies on air is not fair is true, that in short means free advert for them…other social networks are also good…

  • http://www.xn-----vldcbcjide5l5c.co.il/ עבודה באר”ב

    good article , likeee

  • http://www.gasta.com Francis Higgins

    The French Believe in ‘Internet Sovereignity’ just like airspace is sovereign. Google in particular has rode roughsode over every part of the globe. now Twitter and Facebook are trying to do the same. I just wish Ireland had the balls to stand up for its own future economy.

  • http://www.lothian-seo.com Andrew

    I am sure that if they could the British Government would do the same. National TV channels are used to “supply” information to the nation. Social media circumvents this control. We are starting to see politicians and judges “express concern”

  • Roger

    I LOVED IT! In fact I will move to France ASAP so that I don’t have to watch TV news that were basically compiled from Facebook and Twitter streams. A day won’t go by that I don’t see either company mentioned by news anchors.

  • http://www.phillipsconsult.com/SWL John Phillips

    I think the French are correct – for whichever reason is their real motivation, and I fully support their position. “News” has degenerated enough as it is, and the likes of Facebook have accelerated that decline.

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    The French often cut off their nose to spite their face and this is just another example. You didn’t say what the penalty is for breaking the ban or who will enforce it? Will they offer a reward to viewers who hear the dreaded words come from some broadcaster’s mouth?

  • http://citylight1.com real estate egypt

    I do not agree to the blockage of this immoral and no one can deny the importance of Facebook and Twitter to communicate and social acquaintance of peoples to each other and as especially after the Arab spring and revolutions, which was launched by its note on Twitter or to a page on Facebook

  • http://goodabworkouts.posterous.com/ good ab workout

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment on facebook-twitter-banned-on-french-tv-2011-06″ rel=”nofollow”>http://www.webpronews.com/facebook-twitter-banned-on-french-tv-2011-06 but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!