Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in
New Hampshire

New Hampshire Right-to-Know Law and Social Media

The New Hampshire Right-to-Know Law governs open records laws for government agencies. It includes “any written communication or other information, whether in paper, electronic, or other physical form” as a public record. This policy qualifies social media records in New Hampshire as public records.

Guidance From the New Hampshire Attorney General

The New Hampshire State Attorney General has provided guidance on social media records in New Hampshire. The Attorney General advises agencies to seek legal council on their social media usage and records retention policy to ensure they comply with the Right-To-Know Law.

A key part of social media records retention, the metadata associated with content, is also addressed in this guidance. Although no specific ruling on metadata has been made for New Hampshire, the Attorney General cites a Federal District Court case that determined “certain metadata is an intrinsic part of an electronic record” and recommends agencies seek legal counsel on this.

City of Lebanon Social Media Records Management in Practice

The City of Lebanon has established comprehensive guidelines for handling social media records in New Hampshire. The policy requires the City to “maintain records of its social media sites for at least one year.” It designates the City as responsible for responding “completely and accurately” to public records requests for social media content. Additional instructions for handling deleted content while staying compliant make this a strong policy example of managing social media records in New Hampshire.


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