French television and radio personalities are now forbidden to say the words “Facebook” and “Twitter” unless they directly relate to a story.
The rule comes down from the CSA, France’s strict broadcasting authority.
French broadcasters will no longer be able to use phrases such as, “Follow us on Twitter,” or “Like us on Facebook.” The decree was handed down on May 27, and prohibits surreptitious advertising over the airwaves, unless the company in question has paid to have their name mentioned.
Social media advocates have spoken out on the ruling, saying the decree is outdated and shouldn’t apply in this day in age.
A spokesperson for the CSA told The Associated Press the decision is fair, and is a way of not giving Facebook or Twitter free press or favouritism, due to the other number of social networks on the Internet that are struggling for recognition.
French television broadcasters also regularly blur out logos and business names that are shown in the background of stories for the same reason.