Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in
South Dakota

South Dakota Public Records Law and Social Media

The South Dakota Public Records Law mandates that agencies preserve public records, which includes “all records and documents regardless of physical form.” Therefore, social media in South Dakota is governed by the South Dakota Public Records Law.

South Dakota Open Government Guide to Public Records Law

This guidance from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press addresses social media records in their Open Government Guide for South Dakota. The guide recommends that social media content be treated like e-mail under the South Dakota Public Records Law. The guidance indicates that e-mail can be a record because the “physical form of a record is irrelevant” under the Law. Under the same interpretation, social media records in South Dakota can also be a public record.

South Dakota Social Media Records Management in Practice

The Office of the South Dakota Secretary of State implemented a comprehensive social media policy that includes consideration for public records. The policy clearly states that social media records are subject to South Dakota public records laws and will be retained in compliance. This policy serves as an effective model for managing social media records in South Dakota.


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