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France's Facebook, Twitter Ban Comes at Pivotal Time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As Twitter and Facebook's impact on television continues to grow in this country and abroad, in France it went dark this month.

    The home of flaky croissants and escargot has put the kibosh on television and radio news programs from using the words Facebook and Twitter on air unless the reporters are referring directly to a story involving the two companies.

    The new law means that no longer can an anchor say "follow us on Twitter" at the end of a newscast.

    France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel, which regulates the airwaves in the country, said using the names of the companies is a form of "clandestine" advertising for the two Bay Area-based social networking sites, which violates a 1992 French law prohibiting the promotion of commercial enterprises on news programs.

    The French ban comes as Twitter and Facebook's importance to television is growing amongst American and British television executives.

    Cable news networks in the US have built entire shows around feedback on Twitter and Facebook.

    The social networking mediums give executives the instant feedback they need on how a show is being perceived or talked about.

    Gone are the days of waiting to see what the water cooler banter would be and in is the era where television producers want to see their shows trending on Twitter or getting liked on Facebook.