FRANCE HAS BANNED the use of the words ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ from being spoken on radio or television unless they are part of a news story in accordance with an old law.”
While the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel has indicated that France is purely upholding it’s laws (a 1992 law that limits the advertising of organizations on media), it appears France has allowed legislation to get in the way of common sense.
Yes I understand that there is some connotation in “Follow us on Twitter” in that is can show support for Twitter or other commercial organizations. But frankly, denying the existence of a medium that is having far more relevance than traditional print and television organizations; a medium that is changing the politics of regions, countries, and administrations, is going to do more harm than good for the public.
I personally find that the “eggs in one basket” idea that twitter and facebook have created on the Internet is a very worrying situation, but there is no denying the power and usefulness that social media has created in the last 5 years. The Facebook phenomena among businesses is to create their branded page, and have followers where they can direct market the individuals. From the selfish interests of a company it’s perfect, especially when you look at the information that you get when you have people simply ‘follow or join’ or page.
From the Internet-centric perspective it’s no different than the mess we had when AOL or even Compuserve had when they have provider-specific services. It’s lame. It’s against the real power of the a decentralized Internet that survives critical destruction; yet, everyone is on it, so you might as well join.
Will there be a point in time where we all move again away from these organizations. For anyone that says, “remember MySpace or Orkut?”, these are different animals. Sure there were plenty of bands on Myspace but it was hardly adopted with the same magnitude nor as useful as Facebook or twitter. What we need to think up is the generic terms for Facebook’ing and Twittering. The equivalents of “photocopy this” instead of “Xerox this”, or “can you get me a tissue”, instead of “can you get me a Kleenex?”. These technologies are interesting, but surely there are generic ways to describe their function in our lives. Think of ‘texting’ or ‘emailing’; we don’t refer to these as “AT&T Short Messaging” or “Outlooking”.