Sunday, September 20, 2009

The White House - Blog Post - Reality Check: The Presidential Records Act of 1978 meets web-based social media of 2009

Interesting times

Here’s where it gets interesting.  The PRA was written in 1978.  It doesn’t have a section on email.  But everyone agrees that these electronic communications meet the Act’s broad definition of presidential records, and that the White House is legally required to preserve them.
The emergence of social media has created new forms of communication.  Instead of sending an email, people often now post on someone’s profile or comment on a video or photo that's been uploaded.  When people want to tell the White House what they think, they’ll often do the same thing on our social media pages.  A lot of times, we solicit this feedback because we want to hear from you.
These new types of communications from individuals to the White House, even though they take a different form, are governed by the PRA.  Working with NARA, we’ve concluded that comments and messages the White House receives on its official pages are presidential records.  That means the PRA requires us, by law, to preserve them.

The White House - Blog Post - Reality Check: The Presidential Records Act of 1978 meets web-based social media of 2009

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