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Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in

Virginia Public Records Law and Social Media

Social media records in Virginia are governed by the Virginia Public Records Act. This law covers all information that documents activities of public agents or agencies, regardless of the physical form or characteristics. Content created on social media platforms may meet the definition of a record under this act and should be retained accordingly.

Guidelines from the Library of Virginia on Social Media as Public Records

The Library of Virginia is responsible for archiving and managing records under the Act and provides guidance to the legislature when amendments to the law are considered. The Library offers tip sheets on managing electronic records of all types, including social media. The Library’s guidance on social media clearly identifies situations in which social media is public record requiring retention, including any post that receives comments.

Check out this clip from a webinar with Library of Virginia records experts Sonya Coleman and Glenn Smith. Watch the full webinar at


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