I'm pretty sure we've covered this, but the midterm elections provide a good reason to issue a general reminder. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other social media posts by those in office in Washington do become part of the public record. They could also be included in the National Archives.
David Ferriero, the national archivist, made the point on election day with a tweet that read:
Is this tweet a record? How about my blog post?
Ferriero then pointed followers to his blog, AOTUS: Chief Collector. There, he outlined the questions those who work in federal agencies should ask to determine whether particular communications should be archived as an agency record.
The National Archives and Records Administration Bulletin 2011-02 says that the "principles for analyzing, scheduling, and managing records are based on content and are independent of the medium..." The following questions are meant to help agencies determine record status:
- Is the information unique and not available anywhere else?
- Does it contain evidence of the agency's policies, business, mission, etc.?
- Is this tool being used in relation to the agency's work?
- Is use of the tool authorized by the agency?
- Is there a business need for the information?