Public Records Laws and Social Media Retention in

Washington Public Records Act and Social Media

The Washington Public Records Act requires that government agencies preserve public records regardless of physical form. This includes the digital records created through social media and the metadata behind the records.

As of July 1, 2014, all elected officials and state and local appointees in Washington must complete training in understanding and applying public records and open meeting laws. Online training resources are available from the Office of the Attorney General.

Social Media Records Guidelines from the Governor

The Office of the Governor specifically mentions social media records in Washington in the context of the Public Records Act and lays the responsibility for capturing and retaining those records on the agencies that create them.

Legal Precedent for Preserving Electronic Records

In a 2010 decision on the O’Neill v. City of Shoreline case, the Supreme Court of Washington determined that metadata, which is the data that describes and identifies other data, is public information and subject to the Public Records Act.

Washington Social Media Records Management in Practice

The City of Seattle and the City of Olympia offer prominent examples of how local governments are including Washington Public Records Act and general public records law compliance in their social media policies.


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