The use of social media is increasing at a phenomenal rate. For example, people are watching 3 billion YouTube videos every day and Twitter search engines are indexing an average of 2,200 Tweets per second. Social media is popular because it enables collaboration and because it makes mass communication in real time possible. Social media is changing the way we communicate and changing the way we do business. To explore how government in Utah is using social media, check out this site http://www.utah.gov/connect/
For records managers the consequence of the proliferation of social media is an expansion of government records. Since Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) defines a record by content and not format, the use of social media for government business generates records. Whether it be a city or county hosting a blog or FaceBook page, a state agency uploading video content to YouTube, or an employee sending a Tweet, all are creating records that must to be managed.
In order to assist records officers with the daunting task of managing records created on social media, the Utah State Archives and Records Service has posted “Social Media Guidelines.” These guidelines emphasize the following points:
- The use of social media should have a clear business purpose.
- Government should adopt policies and guidelines that define how social media will be used.
- Records created through social media must be managed as government records.