Texas Public Records Laws Compliance
Texas Senate Bill 944 is an amendment to the Texas Public Information Act (PIA) and defines methods for adhering to Texas public records laws and expanding government transparency, including how social media communication should be recorded and archived.
Texas Public Information Act & Social Media
The Texas Public Information Act was modernized in 2013 to explicitly include internet postings and other electronic communications with Senate Bill 1368. This bill causes social media content to fall under Texas public records laws.
View Texas Law Text
(c)The general forms in which the media containing public information exist include a book, paper, letter, document,e-mail, internet posting, text message, instant message, other electronic communication, printout, photograph, film, tape, microfiche, microfilm, photostat, sound recording, map, and drawing and a voice, data, or video representation held in computer memory.
Social Media Records Guidelines from the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR)
The DIR clarifies the retention requirements for social media records in Texas in its Social Media Resource Guide and offers great strategies for getting started with social media in your agency.
View the DIR Social Media guidelines
4. Records Retention
Content posted by the agency or the public on an agency’s social media website is a state record (Government Code, Section 441.180(11)), and is subject to State Records Retention requirements in Government Code Chapter 441, Subchapter L, 441.180-205.
To manage compliance, agencies may consider common exceptions to State Records Retention Requirements in developing social media content strategy.
Texas Social Media Records Management in Practice
Austin is the first city in the country to offer a completely Open Archive that is accessible to the public. The City of Dallas offers a great example of a comprehensive social media policy that recognizes social media posts are subject to public disclosure laws.
View the Dallas Social Media Policy
5.2 The PIO or designee will:
Manage Open Records Requests in cooperation with all departments to ensure that responses to such requests include any responsive Content on City Social Media sites