It’s Sunshine Week!
Started in 2005 by the News Leaders Association, Sunshine Week is now widely celebrated around the US. Public agencies and news organizations will spend the week highlighting the importance of access to public information through special communications and events. And we here at ArchiveSocial are celebrating, too! It’s our mission to strengthen trust in digital communication between public agencies and private citizens.
What is Sunshine Week all about?
Sunshine Week’s motto is “Open government is good government,” and that ideal is enshrined in the laws of the United States. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state records laws give citizens the right to request information and public records controlled by the government. Businesses, news media, and private citizens exercise this right every day. Private citizens make up about 20% of records requests annually>.
The week takes its name from Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, which requires that all public records be preserved, regardless of physical form. Guidelines from the Office of the Attorney General even specifically mention Facebook as a computer record. All 50 states consider social media and website content public record. In order to be compliant, agencies must preserve this content. But these platforms are 24/7 by nature, and content changes rapidly, making it nearly impossible to archive. Luckily, this is the exact problem ArchiveSocial was created to solve.
The ArchiveSocial product captures your social media content in near-real-time so you never lose a record. And with solutions like Web Snapshots, you can do the same for your website content. So when information is requested, you can effortlessly search your secure archive and produce in-context records of any size.
Web content is public record
You probably know that the information on a public agency’s website is public record and what constitutes public record is determined by content, not by channel. But did you know that what used to be on an agency’s website is also public record? So even if the information is updated or deleted, every version of every page is considered a public record.
Content management systems can’t easily produce a historical view of website pages. Because of this, finding specific information from months or even years ago can take hours. That’s why ArchiveSocial created Web Snapshots. This powerful tool provides a snapshot of how any one of your web pages was displayed to site visitors at any point in time.
How to celebrate
The Department of Justice, an ArchiveSocial customer, has observed Sunshine Week since 2010. They recognize the hard work of FOIA officials across the government and discuss FOIA best practices. Last year, the DOJ recognized its own IT team for exceptional advancements in administration.
You can celebrate Sunshine Week from your own home. The News Leaders Association keeps a calendar of events, many of which can be attended virtually. You can also join the conversation on social media by tweeting @SunshineWeek or using the hashtag #SunshineWeek.
We’ll be celebrating across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook with special posts throughout the week. And we’re celebrating every day by preserving important social media and web content records for our customers! Above all, we’re committed to helping government agencies and educational organizations stay compliant and building trust in digital communication.
ArchiveSocial and its parent company, Optimere, are dedicated to helping public agencies preserve public records from their social media and websites. A searchable archive of these online records makes it easy for public employees to locate what’s relevant to a request from a concerned citizen. Optimere’s request management product, NextRequest, helps agencies easily process requests, redact and send documents, and invoice requesters when applicable. We are purpose-built to improve transparency.
Transparency and compliance
ArchiveSocial provides a digital archiving solution that helps government agencies and school districts remain compliant with public records laws. Set up is easy – it usually takes less than five minutes to become compliant and start storing your records in near-real-time.
Optimere Digital Solutions
To promote transparency and make responding to records requests more manageable, check out Optimere’s request management product, NextRequest. NextRequest is a leading automation and workflow technology provider that simplifies how government agencies manage and reduce the risk associated with public records requests.
We also know that transparency means transparency to everyone, so accessibility and clear communication are critically important. Optimere’s web governance product Monsido offers tools for web accessibility, website quality assurance, brand and content compliance, user consent management, social and web content archiving, and more.