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Social Media Records in Alabama

Alabama Public Records Law & Social Media

Social media records in Alabama fall under Title 36, chapter 12 of the code of Alabama, which governs the maintenance of public records. This statute requires “public officers and servants to accurately maintain and preserve from loss, destruction, etc., complete books, papers, files, etc.” and gives every citizen the right to, “inspect and take a copy of any public writing of this state.”

View Tallahassee's Social Media Policy!

City of Tallahassee Social Media and Collaboration Policy

  • All Social Media sites must clearly indicate that all Posts are subject to public records laws.
  • Do not edit posts. Any post that violates the Terms of Use Agreement or disclaimer should be documented for records retention and then deleted from public view. The comment maker should then be notified that he or she has violated the Terms of Agreement, specifying any and all Terms of Use that were violated.
  • Ensure Social Media Account implementation and use complies with applicable mandates, including, but not limited to: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ISS Security Policy (Administrative Policy 809), Chapter 119 Florida Statutes, City Policies 140 and 146 (Records Retention and Public Records – Administrative Policy 206), and any other applicable Federal, State or City policy.

Guidance from the Alabama Local Government Records Commission

In October of 2013, the Local Government Records Commission issued a revised Records Disposition Authority (RDA) for municipalities which outlined the preservation and retention requirements for social media records in Alabama. This document indicates the need to capture records of social media sites whenever changes are made (which, given the live nature of social media, is all the time) and that these records should be classified as “Permanent” for retention purposes. In an earlier document from 2003, the commission clarifies that the Alabama public records law applies to all storage formats, including electronic media.

View Tallahassee's Social Media Policy!

City of Tallahassee Social Media and Collaboration Policy

  • All Social Media sites must clearly indicate that all Posts are subject to public records laws.
  • Do not edit posts. Any post that violates the Terms of Use Agreement or disclaimer should be documented for records retention and then deleted from public view. The comment maker should then be notified that he or she has violated the Terms of Agreement, specifying any and all Terms of Use that were violated.
  • Ensure Social Media Account implementation and use complies with applicable mandates, including, but not limited to: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ISS Security Policy (Administrative Policy 809), Chapter 119 Florida Statutes, City Policies 140 and 146 (Records Retention and Public Records – Administrative Policy 206), and any other applicable Federal, State or City policy.
View Tallahassee's Social Media Policy!

City of Tallahassee Social Media and Collaboration Policy

  • All Social Media sites must clearly indicate that all Posts are subject to public records laws.
  • Do not edit posts. Any post that violates the Terms of Use Agreement or disclaimer should be documented for records retention and then deleted from public view. The comment maker should then be notified that he or she has violated the Terms of Agreement, specifying any and all Terms of Use that were violated.
  • Ensure Social Media Account implementation and use complies with applicable mandates, including, but not limited to: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ISS Security Policy (Administrative Policy 809), Chapter 119 Florida Statutes, City Policies 140 and 146 (Records Retention and Public Records – Administrative Policy 206), and any other applicable Federal, State or City policy.

Alabama Social Media Records Management in Practice

The City of Florence has a social media policy that clearly indicates that social media records in Alabama are subject to Alabama Public Records Law and must be maintained accordingly. The policy reads, “[a]ny content maintained in a social media format that is related to City business, including a list of subscribers, posted communication, and communication submitted for posting, may be a public record subject to public disclosure.”

View Tallahassee's Social Media Policy!

City of Tallahassee Social Media and Collaboration Policy

  • All Social Media sites must clearly indicate that all Posts are subject to public records laws.
  • Do not edit posts. Any post that violates the Terms of Use Agreement or disclaimer should be documented for records retention and then deleted from public view. The comment maker should then be notified that he or she has violated the Terms of Agreement, specifying any and all Terms of Use that were violated.
  • Ensure Social Media Account implementation and use complies with applicable mandates, including, but not limited to: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ISS Security Policy (Administrative Policy 809), Chapter 119 Florida Statutes, City Policies 140 and 146 (Records Retention and Public Records – Administrative Policy 206), and any other applicable Federal, State or City policy.
State flag map of Alabama

ArchiveSocial in Alabama

If you would like to speak with one of the cities, counties, or agencies in Alabama that are currently using ArchiveSocial to meet Alabama Public Records Law requirements, or would like to learn more about how your social media can comply with the law, just use the button below to get in touch.[include_popup pardotform=”172″]

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