Cobb will archive online records permanently

Cobb County will archive the county website and social media sites (such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) to retain complete and accurate records of online activity and to ensure compliance with the Georgia Open Records Act.

This decision was made on Dec. 11 by the Cobb County Board of Commissioners to use ArchiveSocial at no more than $7,188 on an annual basis.

Funding for this year will come from undesignated contingencies.

“While other vendors provide some form of social media archiving capabilities, our assessment is that ArchiveSocial is the only vendor that comprehensively and directly meets Cobb County requirements for a social media archiving solution,” said Cobb Information Services Director Sharon Stanley, Cobb Support Services Agency Director Eddie Canon and Cobb Communications Director Ross Cavitt in a Dec. 11 memo.

“As social media increasingly serves as a primary communications channel with citizens, information posted to social media by county agencies and elected offices, as well as the comments and replies received on that information, can constitute public records,” they said.

“The ability to retain and produce accurate records of social media content is becoming increasingly important,” they added. “Specifically, records of social media may prove critical in protecting Cobb County during legal proceedings and other risk-oriented circumstances.”

Without ArchiveSocial, the county has “no ability” to provide the quality and comprehensiveness of archiving social media sites available from these third parties.

Once implemented, this system will provide comprehensive social media record capture, archive and retrieval for every county social media site.

Specifically, the ArchiveSocial solution will:

  • integrate departmental social media accounts to capture records regardless of how or when content is posted to social networks;
  • archive complete electronic records in native format;
  • ensure the authenticity of records to meet legal and compliance requirements;
  • provide detailed capture of multimedia and other associated information;
  • allow advanced search and export capabilities; and
  • assist with responding to open records requests to quickly produce the records needed, including edited, deleted and hidden content.