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.”
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.
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.”
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″]