Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in
North Carolina Public Records Law and Social Media
The North Carolina Public Records Law requires that government agencies preserve public records regardless of physical form, including the digital records created through social media. The law applies this requirement to every public office, officer, official, and institution creating social media records in North Carolina.
North Carolina Open Records Law Text
§ 1321. “Public records” defined
(a) “Public record” or “public records” shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic dataprocessing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions. Agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall mean and include every public office, public officer or official (State or local, elected or appointed), institution, board, commission, bureau, council, department, authority or other unit of government of the State or of any county, unit, special district or other political subdivision of government.
Social Media Records Guidelines from the Office of the Governor
The Office of the Governor of North Carolina issued “Best Practices for Social Media Usage in North Carolina” in 2012, specifying that official posts and public comments are public records.
Posts and Comments Are Public Records:
Like e-mail, communication via agency-related social networking Web sites is a public record. This means that both the posts of the employee administrator and any feedback by other employees or non-employees, including citizens, will become part of the public record.
North Carolina Social Media Records Management in Practice
North Carolina is the first state government in the country to provide the public free access to an Open Archive of the state’s social media content. The archive can be searched here.
The City of Raleigh offers a great example of a comprehensive social media policy that clearly outlines the impact of the NC Public Records Law on social media records. The city includes a message like the one below on every social media account page administered on behalf of the city to inform users that comments become part of the public record.
Raleigh's Social Media message to users
The City of Raleigh uses social media to interact with residents, businesses and visitors about public issues. Please submit your questions, comments and concerns. Please note this is a moderated online discussion site and subject to North Carolina Public Records Laws, and e-discovery laws and policies.
HEAR FROM OUR CUSTOMERS
CivicPlus Social Media Archiving in North Carolina
Hear from one of the many cities, counties, and agencies that are meeting public record law requirements using the CivicPlus Social Media Archiving solution.
“The State Archives and State Library of North Carolina are excited to use the ArchiveSocial tool to capture and make accessible social media posts and communications between NC State Agencies and its citizens.”
Kelly Eubank, North Carolina Archives
“Our favorite feature is the ability to search your previous posts — something that’s nearly impossible to accomplish without [CivicPlus Social Media Archiving]!”
Stacie Galloway, Town of Apex
SOCIAL MEDIA ARCHIVING SOLUTION OVERVIEW
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.