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Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in

Tennessee Open Records Act and Social Media

The Tennessee Open Records Act defines public records as “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency.”

Tennessee Social Media Records Guidance from the Attorney General

The Tennessee State Attorney General’s Office released an opinion on applying the Tennessee Public Records Act to Municipal Social Media Accounts. This opinion states that if government social media accounts are established by law or as a function of official business, “that account and any comments posted on the account constitute public records subject to inspection under the Tennessee Public Records Act.”

Tennessee Social Media Records Guidance from the Secretary of State

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office acknowledges the applicability of the Tennessee Open Records Act to social media records in Tennessee in their own official social media policy. This policy states, “All posts may be considered to be a public record that is subject to disclosure under Tenn. Code Ann. §10-7-503.”

Tennessee Social Media Records Management in Practice

The Town of Smyrna offers a great example of a comprehensive social media policy that explicitly identifies social media records in Tennessee as public record. The policy is closely modeled after the guidelines issued by the Tennessee Secretary of State and states, “[t]own social media sites are subject to the Tennessee Open Records Act.”


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