The French state is famous for banning words because they’re allegedly threats to the purity of the French language, but the latest ban on words is goofy even by the country’s absurdist standards. French broadcasters are no longer allowed to refer to Facebook or Twitter on the air.
No, this isn’t a joke. You’re not reading something lifted from the pages of the Onion. The French state regulator has decided that TV and radio channels can’t direct viewers and listeners to “like” them on Facebook or “follow them” on Twitter. This is now deemed advertising, so it is verboten. (Wait. That’s German. It’s probably not allowed in a story about French, so never mind.)
There’s no way I can do justice to this absurd story, so just take a look at this piece from a guy living in Paris. The only point I want to make here is that when you give the state the power to make such decisions, it’s your fault when the absurdities happen. Why should a state even have the power to make this decision?