French government bans the terms 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' from radio and television


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Proving once again that moralistic liberals are exactly as annoying as moralistic conservatives, the French government has banned the words “Facebook” and “Twitter” from radio and television, unless either company is the focus of a story. This essentially means that news organizations can no longer say things like “Find us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter.” According to the Guardian, the French government’s broadcasting authority felt that doing so served as stealth promotion for the two social networking sites, which was unfair all the other social networking sites that no one has ever heard of because everyone already uses Facebook or Twitter.

Now, before you start screaming “Down With Socialism!” and stuffing your mouth full of freedom fries, it’s worth pointing out that the French government might have a point. Social networks, confusingly, are simultaneously public spaces and private corporations — no one pays to join them, but they can nevertheless reap mega-billions in profits. Even if you ascribe to a theory of pure winner-takes-all capitalism, it’s worth asking yourself: Should social networks get a free pass because they’re an entirely new form of corporation, or are we unwittingly walking into a new era of corporate monopolies? After all, doesn’t it seem a bit bizarre that major internet companies with serious financial backing can nevertheless earn scads of free advertising from media companies desperate to engage with their readers?

Wow, who knew that French people could force you to ask so many deep questions about life? You should decompress a little bit, and then, once you’re ready, why don’t we move this conversation to Twitter?

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Comments (21 total) Add your comment
  • Elizabeth

    You mean mindless comments from viewers ISNT news???

    Cool points for the French!

  • Dominique

    When I first saw a headline about this, I thought it was ridiculous but turns out the headline (as is this one) was a bit misleading. They DO have a good point.

  • lonestarjrs

    Super Annoying

  • jason

    It’s more of a name brand recognition thing. Other companies use to be mad when instead of DVR people would just say “Tivo” or saying “Kleenex” instead of tissues.

    Eventually, companies can overcome this. Heck, Facebook overcame Myspace.

    If someone else would’ve invented Facebook, they would’ve invented Facebook.

  • Jay

    I dont like the idea of “banning” anything. I see their point, but then the network can just say to “find us on your favorite social networking site” to have the same effect.

    The problem is, for social networking to be effective it has to be largely accepted & popular.

    • Lala

      I may be wrong but I think “find us on your favorite social networking site” is exactly what they are going to say from now on. They are just “banning” the names. Where I live, naming brand names on tv and radio is a big no-no (unless it’s a commercial), as it is seen as a kind of promotion for the brand. BTW the headline and the first sentence of the article are very annoying AND misleading.

  • Miss Talk

    Hmmm, the truth is they’re concerned about losing something to the anglo-saxon invasion each and everyday. McDonalds, Summer blockbusters, primetime TV series, British Royal Wedding…they’re getting swallowed up.

    • Ruby

      It’s true. The Académie française won’t even officially accept the word “hamburger” despite the fact that it has become an extremely common word in France.

    • Lala


  • Sundown

    Highly inaccurate first sentence. The French government is far from liberal; this is the same country that regulates the French language in order to preserve tradition and keep foreign influences out. In fact, I would have guessed that it was this agency doing the banning of the words Facebook and Twitter due to their non-Gallic etymology (but it turns out that it’s not langauge at all that’s causing this; coulda fooled me!)

    • ajpt

      That’s what I thought the article was going to be about as well.

      • Kat


    • TQB

      I agree, referring to the French as “liberal” is just buying into US conservative rhetoric that many liberals are actually socialists. It’s not the same thing, folks.


    I’m glad that I was not the only one wanting to ban this. The french has such a good point.

  • Shelley

    Facebook and Twitter created platforms that businesses want to use for their marketing and promotions…so why couldn’t they use it as part of their advertising if they want to? That is ridiculous logic.

  • myrian

    As always, the French culture is the beeper and the beginning of good education.No one can deny.

  • Brian

    Good Call France!

  • ed strong

    CNN doesn’t have a Facebook page for the same reason. It refuses to promote commercial enterprises for free.

  • ferienhaeuser spanien von privat

    Perfect Throughout,quarter tree evening elderly alone discipline relate distance win save whom acid appoint western yes code measure broad produce family assumption phone confirm keep safe direction once total much only connect state foundation quick debate drink motor roof opinion different development best liberal adopt criterion studio moment pull cos official choice employ estate reflect middle rise signal turn living glass warm beside traffic home complex me support affect stick around question close politics series advice system grant lay royal here through distance result transfer account water seriously

  • HL

    The current French governement is conservative, not socialist.

  • nwqfk

    France is only rivaled by communist China for being one of the world leading countries for internet censorship under the guise of child porn prevention.

    You win Nicolas Sarkozy!!! The prestigious Mao Tse-Tung award for suppressing free speech!!!

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