Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in

Illinois Freedom of Information Act and Social Media

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) governs social media records in Illinois. The law defines public records as information and communications sent or received by public agencies “regardless of physical form or characteristics.“

Guidance on Social Media Records in Illinois from the Secretary of State

In January 2020, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office released specific guidance for government agencies using social media to ensure compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. This publication explains when social media posts are considered records and offers guidance on retention, including recommendations to retain the records in an outside application.

Illinois Social Media Records Management in Practice

The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office offers a great example of a comprehensive social media policy that clearly outlines the impact of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act on social media records.

Social Media Record Retention Legal News in Illinois

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


The State Attorney General determined Orland Park, IL violated FOIA after it failed to fill a social media records request.

The village failed to fill a records request for a list of users blocked on its social media accounts, arguing the lists are not subject to records law. The Attorney General disagreed and determined that as the account’s owner, Orland Park chooses which users to block, thus creating the record they are obligated to fill under FOIA.


How Social Media Archiving Works

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.

eBook Comprehensive Social Media Archiving Compliance