France's government broadcasting authority has banned programs from mentioning Facebook and Twitter unless they are a necessary part of a story.
Christine Kelly, spokeswoman for the Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel, said journalists will no longer be able to ask their audiences to follow them on Facebook and Twitter because the practice violates a 1992 decree against advertising or promotion of private business on programs, the British newspaper The Guardian reported Monday.
"Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are other social networks that are struggling for recognition?" Kelly asked.
"This would be a distortion of competition. If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it's opening a Pandora's box. Other social networks will complain to us, saying 'Why not us?'"
Kelly said journalists can still use the names of the sites if they are deemed "pivotal to the story."