Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in

Georgia Open Records Act, Sunshine Laws, and Social Media

The Georgia Open Records Act governs social media records in Georgia. It requires that government agencies preserve public records, including “computer-based or generated information.” The Act explicitly addresses “electronic messages, whether in the form of e-mail, text message, or other format” as public records. This definition would include social media records in Georgia.

Guidance from the Attorney General on the Georgia Open Records Act

The State Attorney General of Georgia has issued guidelines that clarify the State open records policy. This document specifies that the Georgia Open Records Act “designates ‘computer records’ as public records subject to the law.” This statement qualifies social media records in Georgia as public records under the Law.

Georgia Social Media Records Management in Practice

The City of Johns Creek has a comprehensive social media policy that addresses compliance with the Georgia Open Records Act and Sunshine Laws. The policy states that social media records in Georgia must adhere to “laws and policies regarding copyright, records retention, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Georgia Open Records Act, First Amendment, privacy laws, sunshine laws, and information security policies.

Social Media Record Retention Legal News in Georgia

Read about Georgia cases and precedents involving social media and public record retention.


Cobb County settles lawsuit involving Sheriff’s Facebook records and blocking residents.

When a former employee sued the County Sheriffe for blocking constituents on his Facebook page, where he conducted and communicated County business, it was determined the Sheriff was denying First Amendment rights and access to public records. Cobb County settled for $750 in damages, unblocked all constituents, and paid $29,000 in legal fees.

Source: Cobb County Courier, “County Settles Lawsuit Involving Neil Warren’s Facebook Page,” Jan 2020


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