Florida's "Sunshine Laws" mandate that government agencies must retain public records regardless of their physical form. This includes digital records generated through social media, making it mandatory for public agencies to retain social media records.
(12) ”Public records” means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.
The Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual guidelines for computer records, issued by the Office of the Attorney General of Florida, provide guidance on the retention of social media records. The manual explicitly mentions Facebook and places the responsibility for capturing and retaining Florida social media records on the government agencies that create them.
(1) Facebook: The Attorney General’s Office has stated that the placement of material on a city’s Facebook page presumably would be in connection with the transaction of official business and thus subject to Ch. 119, F.S., although in any given instance, the determination would have to be made based upon the definition of “public record” contained in s. 119.11, F.S AGO 09-19. To the extent that the information on the city’s Facebook page constitutes a public record, the city is under an obligation to follow the public records retention schedules established by law.
The City of Tallahassee has a well-defined social media policy that explains how Florida's Sunshine Law applies to social media records.