June 5, 2011
France bans “Twitter” and “Facebook” from being said on TV

The French are banning Twitter and Facebook from being said on TV.

In a controversial move the French government has said that it will enforce a law so that the words ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ will not be allowed to be spoken on the television or on the radio.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s colleagues have agreed to uphold a 1992 decree which stipulates that commercial enterprises should not be promoted on news programs.

Broadcasting anchors from now on are forbidden to refer to the popular social networking site and the microblogging phenomenon, unless it is pivotal and relevant to a news item.

Christine Kelly, spokesman for France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), thinks that the government is correct to uphold this law.

'Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition?' she 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?”'


What Christine Kelly (and the French) don’t understand is that people follow people on social network out of convenience.  They join social networks because of network effects.  2nd tier social networks won’t gain more prominence just because Twitter and Facebook is banned from being said on TV. 

The end result is that the French end up surrendering influence to other media personalities worldwide who are allowed to promote themselves and increase their influence base.

March 20, 2011

The video portrays a different perspective on the Libya conflict by U.S. congressman Ron Paul.  It’s also a great example of why social media can be significantly more powerful and useful relative to communicating through traditional media outlets.

Among the key thoughts:

  • Enforcement of a no fly zone is an act of war
  • War is something congress must approve of, which it wasn’t done in the most recent conflict in Libya
  • Regardless of whether the UK or France heads the conflict efforts from a publicity standpoint, the United States is going to be expending the most resources in the conflict
  • The United States is going to bear the brunt of the financial drain of any conflict in Libya and will also be responsible if things go wrong at the end of the day
  • Given the current economic situation, engaging in a war in Libya is unwise

The progression of thoughts communicated by Ron Paul is logical, but it is long.  It isn’t something that can be expressed in six to nine words.  That’s why Paul was weaker in the past nationally in my opinion.  He liked to explain how he reached his conclusions, which required a preface / background.  The media rarely showed his thoughts in their entirety, which led to attribution of mostly incomplete thoughts.

Utilizing new media platforms like youtube, Paul can deliver perspectives without being misquoted.  He can also avoid quotations from being taken out of context.  This is especially important for Ron Paul as his thoughts are typically not among those commonly quoted.  Using social media, Paul has been able to avoid pitfalls with traditional media outlets that occurred in the past.

Paul’s lesson can be adapted in other avenues.  For any person (or entity) that is seeking to communicate a relatively longer statement, youtube (and other video platforms like vimeo) serves as a great method of communicating.  This is as opposed to twitter, which is better served for shorter soundbites.  A social media platform allows a person (or entity) to communicate a more in-depth message directly to its constituency without a third party (such as a media outlet) distorting the message (regardless of whether the distortion was on purpose or inadvertent).  You can communicate any idea you want in its entirety. Old media didn’t allow that.  That’s why old media is dying and new media is thriving as a communication medium.