TV and radio presenters in France will no longer be able to invite their audiences to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. 

"/> TV and radio presenters in France will no longer be able to invite their audiences to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. 

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Facebook banished from French airwaves

TV and radio presenters in France will no longer be able to invite their audiences to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. 

The surprise ruling has been made by the broadcasting regular in France, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA).

In a letter to French broadcasters this week, the regulator said that mentions of Facebook and Twitter were a form of “clandestine advertising” and should be stopped. TV and radio stations were reminded that this type of advertising falls foul of a 1992 law designed to prevent it.


A spokeswoman for the CSA, Christine Kelly, told radio station Europe 1 that “instead of saying find us on Facebook, presenters should say find us on social networks”. She went on to question why there should be continuous promotion of one network worth billions of dollars while others struggle to get known. “If we give the right to mention Facebook and Twitter, we’re opening a Pandora’s box. Other networks will say “if they get mentioned, why not us?””. 


Kelly added “there are lots of rules like this to follow in France and that’s a big difference between France and the United States”. French commentators and bloggers have largely ridiculed the ruling. Journalist Pierre Haski wrote on website Rue 89 that the decision “has made France a laughing stock around the world”. He said the decision “showed the extent to which the administrative and political elite in France are divorced from the reality of how the world is changing”.


But every cloud has a silver lining. While Twitter and Facebook may be banned on TV and radio, another French institution welcomed them in this week. Le Petit Robert, the popular dictionary, announced that its new list of words for the 2012 edition will include ‘tweet’ and ‘Facebook’.

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France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier