History unfolds every minute on social media, and now the state of North Carolina is prepared to chronicle it. With the help of ArchiveSocial, the State Archives of North Carolina announced today a social media archive of the state government’s social media activity. And in a move that reflects North Carolina’s commitments to transparency and the preservation of the state’s distinct cultural identity, the archive is publicly-available, fully interactive, and searchable.

Moving to transparency

First off, the state’s social media archive represents a forward-thinking approach to government transparency. Never before have a government’s records been so instantly preserved and readily available to the public. The government’s social media activity becomes an archived public record almost instantly. Automatically capturing social media interactions, the public archive is continuously growing and evolving as the citizens and government interact online. So, while other public records requests might have traditionally taken days, if not weeks, to fulfill, public records of social media are almost immediately available.

Exploring social media made easy

Importantly, this collection of more than 55,000 records is fully searchable, meaning an exploration of North Carolina history is right at one’s fingertips.  A citizen curious about what was being said concerning a certain subject on social media can simply search for that keyword. Any matches from Facebook and Twitter are returned in a format that mimics the look and interactivity of the social media sites.

Social media archive search tool

For instance, take somebody curious about the rich basketball tradition in North Carolina. A simple search for “basketball” reveals a variety of social media posts that mention March Madness and various university rivalries. And, this archive will only continue to grow as it chronicles the thoughts, interactions, and, ultimately, the cultural memory of North Carolina.

Social media archive search results for basketball

Complying with public records law

But besides being a valuable tool for transparency and historical preservation, the state of North Carolina now also is fully compliant with state public records laws concerning social media. The state’s social media records are preserved in a legally sound archive with the metadata intact. Additionally, records are archived on a continuous, near-real-time basis. Previously, the state used webpage archiving to capture social media sites every two months, meaning that posts or Tweets might be deleted before they could have been captured. However, now within minutes after the North Carolina government tweets or posts on Facebook, that record is archived. As a result, from both a historical-preservation and compliance standpoint, the state of North Carolina has taken a giant step forward, and ArchiveSocial is proud to be by their side.

Check out the State of North Carolina’s social media archive here and poke around, you might be amazed by what you find!