Social media is a public record in all 50 states, and public entities must be prepared to respond to public records requests for all their public and ancillary pages. Archiving ensures compliance with public records laws, FOIA/open records requests, eDiscovery and litigation readiness, GDPR & CCPA, and social media retention requirements.
In all 50 states, social media is considered a public record, and agencies have an obligation to comply with open record laws.
Open records laws maintain that you need to be able to produce social media records – both from your own content, but also from content your constituents create – in response to records requests.
The social 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.
Manual processes are inefficient for both capture & searching, and often inadmissible in court. Challenges with frequency of capture, lost deleted/revised content, and no meta-data to prove the authenticity of records leave agencies with significant risk.
You are required by law to be able to produce social media content if there is a public request for it. Having a system in place that captures all content and meta-data is the only way of ensuring compliance.
Use the interactive map to discover your state laws today.
Social media archiving is the only way to consistently respond to records requests.
Public record laws state that public entities are responsible for responding to FOIA/Open Records requests related to social media and website content. Accurate recordkeeping for compliance includes preserving 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.
Complying with these laws can 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, you’ll never miss a post or comment, and can quickly find and respond to records requests, in the exact formats you need. Saving dramatically on public records costs, and increasing your transparency.
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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
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