French television and radio programmes have been banned from mentioning social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter except for news purposes.
A decree from the early 1990s is being reimplemented by regulators to stop selective advertising – The move flies in the face of what has become the norm in worldwide broadcasting.
Christine Kelly of France’s Audiovisual Council defended the move: “ We are not the United States where you buy frequencies to broadcast your own TV channel on and then you can do what you want on it. In France you don’t buy frequencies to get a TV channel. You ask for it and in return for getting it free, there are rules you must respect…including the 1992 decree.”
Stations can still refer viewers to social network services but without naming them but as one journalist said, with “tweeter” now an official verb, enforcing the rule could become more of a French farce.