To comply with public records laws, government agencies and public entities must retain all records of social media communications and interactions, and be able to present them for public records requests.
Social Media Records are Public Records
In the USA, government social media is considered public record in all 50 states. School systems, government bodies, and law enforcement agencies have an obligation to comply with open record laws.
Public records laws maintain that you need to be able to produce social media records – both from your own content, and also from content your constituents create – in response to records requests.
Social media networks were built to facilitate the online connection of billions of private citizens to one another. They are not built for, nor bound to, public records laws, and have no legal obligation to retain records for you.
Manual processes are inefficient for both capturing and searching records, and often don’t suffice in court. Challenges with frequency of capture, hidden/deleted/revised content, and no meta-data to prove authenticity of records all leave agencies with significant risks.
You are required by law to be able to produce social media content if there is a public records request for it. Having a system in place that captures all content and meta-data is the only way of ensuring compliance with social media regulations and compliance laws.
The Legal Landscape of Social Media Record Retention
Public record laws state that public entities are responsible for responding to FOIA or Open Records requests for social media and website content. While each of the 50 United States has specific and unique laws on public records, social media is considered public record in every state. Accurate recordkeeping for compliance includes preserving posts, meta-data, comments (even if edited or deleted), and original content exactly as it happened across all of your social media platforms and website pages.
Video: Social Media and Public Records Responsibilities
Without ArchiveSocial, complying with these laws could cost thousands a year, and endless hours of time. But managing your entire online presence doesn’t have to be hard. By automatically capturing and preserving your data in one secure location with active social media archiving, you’ll never miss a post or comment, and can quickly find and respond to records requests, in the exact formats you need. ArchiveSocial helps you save dramatically on public records costs, and increases your entity’s transparency.
Use the interactive map to select your state and discover its public records and social media record retention laws today.
Social media archiving is the only way to maintain complete social media records and properly respond to records requests.
Explore FOIA laws, public records laws, and sunshine laws by state
The ArchiveSocial Solution Overview
Download the Solution Overview to see how social media archiving helps you achieve public records compliance. Automatically retain every post, photo, comment and more from your social pages for record retention.
As a public entity, we are required by law to be able to reproduce that information if there is a public request for it, an open records request. That is not something we are capable of doing without having some type of system in place that actually can go out and get what they call the metadata.
Seward County, Kansas
Success stories from our wonderful customers
Find out why more than 5,000 organizations trust ArchiveSocial to manage their social media records.