Is it a public record?

The simple answer: yes.

As social media increasingly becomes the forum for conversation between citizens and the public sector, it has become subject to public records law. Keeping track of that conversation is growing more challenging everyday. Manual documentation is time consuming and error prone. It puts governments at the mercy of social media platforms who are under no obligation to preserve content, and of third-party posters who can delete their comments at any time. Utilizing a professional archiving service built for public sector needs can provide local government with peace of mind that regulatory compliance is being met and staff needn’t babysit social media every moment.

QUICK TIP: Easily download your city's Facebook page to create a permanent record of all your posts and interactions that is easy to keyword search. Learn more

Explore the links below to read Florida's public records law and learn from the experience of other cities.

Taking Down Trolls: How the City of Margate Defended Their Policy with a Social Media Archive (Webinar)
City & County Attorney Legal Guide to Social Media

 

1 why is it important2 how do we get started3 do we need a policy4 how do we build engagement5 is it a public record6 where can we learn more


If you have specific questions about using social media that are not listed above, please contact FLC Communications Coordinator, Holly McPhail, at hmcphail@flcities.com for further assistance.

Important Disclaimer The League has compiled this information to help local officials understand technical and legal concepts related to the use of social media in the public sector and cannot guarantee the information is accurate or current. The League does not recommend or endorse any of the social media policies referenced above. These materials should not be considered as legal advice. Officials are encouraged to consult technical experts, attorneys and/or relevant regulatory authorities for the most up-to-date information and advice on specific situations.