Wyoming Public Records Act & Social Media
The Wyoming Public Records act requires that government agencies preserve public records “whether in paper, electronic, or other physical form.” Therefore, Social media records in Wyoming qualify as public records under the law.
Show Wyoming law text
Excerpt from the Wyoming Public Records Act.
ARTICLE 2 – PUBLIC RECORDS
(v) “Public records” when not otherwise specified includes any information in a physical form created, accepted, or obtained by the state or any agency, institution or political subdivision of the state in furtherance of its official function and transaction of public business which is not privileged or confidential by law. Without limiting the foregoing, the term “public records” includes any written communication or other information, whether in paper, electronic, or other physical form, received by the state or any agency, institution or political subdivision of the state in furtherance of the transaction of public business of the state or agency, institution or political subdivision of the state, whether at a meeting or outside a meeting;
Guidance from the Wyoming State Archives
The Wyoming State Archives is responsible for collecting, managing, and preserving public records from Wyoming agencies. In a document providing guidelines for Wyoming records officers, the State Archives included clarification that “electronic records” does include social media content. This guidance suggests that social media records in Wyoming are governed by the Wyoming Public Records Act.
View the Wyoming State Archives Guidance
Excerpt from the Wyoming State Archives Guidelines for Wyoming State Agency Records Officers.
Electronic records include databases, E-mail, text messages, e-government transactions, and social media, in addition to common office files from spreadsheet and word processing applications. Most are useful for only a short period of time, but some may need to be kept permanently.
Wyoming Social Media Records Management in Practice
The City of Cody, Wyoming implemented a Social Media Access and acceptable Use Policy that provides comprehensive guidelines for city use of social media. The policy clearly states that “posts to social media platforms are to be considered a public record” and are therefore subject to comply with Wyoming Public Records Act requirements. The City of Cody provides a clear example of how to handle social media records in Wyoming.
View the City of Cody's Social Media Policy
Excerpt from the City of Cody Social Media Access and Acceptable Use Policy
Posts to social media platforms are to be considered a public record, regardless of abilities to remove or hide content. Content published on the World Wide Web can be transparently reposted, rebroadcasted, or saved by other users without consent or acknowledgement.