The new rule goes back to a 1992 law that defined these kinds of product mentions as advertising. "Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition?" said Christine Kelly, a spokesperson for the CSL. "This would be a distortion of competition."
TechCrunch says this is "extremely absurd," because "there are clear winners online (and off) and you sometimes just have to work with them instead of creating archaic go-arounds." But I'd argue that there is at least some value in a nation refusing to bombard its citizens with product placement, even if those products are increasingly ubiquitous. Besides, it's not as if people are unaware of services like Facebook and Twitter. And chances are that if someone online really wants to become a fan of a French TV station on either social networking site, they've already taken the initiative to hunt them down via that other internet heavyweight, Google.
photo via Flickr user Julian Lozelli