The CSA, the body responsible for regulating audiovisual communications in France, launched a determination this week that prohibits the terms “Twitter” and “Facebook” are said in the programming of televisions or radios in the country, except in instances where companies are being target of some matter.
In the opinion of the agency, the mention of companies in schedules would be hidden advertising, a practice that goes against a decree 1992 which regulates advertising in the Napoleonic land. In practice, this will make the presenters replace phrases like “In the follow on Twitter” or “In short Facebook” for something like “In the follow on social networks.”
“The promotion of a social network that generates billions in revenue, such as Facebook, not smaller companies that are fighting for a place in the sun is unfair. There Myspace, Bebo, Skyblog (…) giving preference to a network is a distortion of competition, “said Christine Kelly, advisor to the AFP agency.
Anyway, Kelly says the situation is just a misunderstanding: “We recommend the use of the term ‘social networking’, but there is no prohibition to the terms,” he said. Already an unidentified representative of the country’s media companies refutes: “The CSA determined that say ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’ is illegal, and we are obliged to comply with the law,” he said.
“The CSA does not understand that despite being trademarks, Twitter and Facebook are public spaces where more than 25% of French people discuss and exchange millions of information every day,” said the journalist Raphael Nenoit the newspaper L’Express.
As reminds the newspaper, advertising is highly regulated in France and during CSA meetings an agency representative had argued that “if we right that Facebook and Twitter are cited, we will open Pandora’s box, and all other brands they will also want to have the same right.”