Frontiers of French exceptionalism

Ils Sont Fous Ces Français

New York Times:

Here’s something you won’t hear on French television news today: “For more information on the U.S. trial of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, follow us on Twitter.”

French regulators have banned the words “Facebook” and “Twitter” from French TV and radio unless those words are used to refer to the companies themselves in news stories. The regulator, France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel, says that it is “clandestine” advertising to use the names otherwise, violating a 1992 decree stipulating that commercial enterprises should not be promoted on news programs.

Can the ban be explained on legal grounds alone? What other considerations might be involved in the French action?

I can’t imagine what those other considerations might be.

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