Social media is pervasive throughout society. Billions of people use social media to communicate. Social Media has replaced what used to be standard communications methods such postal services, telephone and even email.

And while Social Media used to be confined to individual and private communications, it has now entered into the workplace. Over one billion employees use personal Social Media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate regarding sensitive company and organizational issues. These communications are subject to eDiscovery in legal matters and litigation. The inability to produce social media communications for a court can have million-dollar negative ramifications for organizations.

Things become even more complicated when you factor in automated conversions such as those managed by ai chatbot platforms.

With this increased use of social media, organizations must be prepared for the risks associated with social media misuse. To mitigate these risks, ensure proper use and protect from future litigation, organizations must now look into social media archiving as part of the overall infrastructure of archived websites.

Here are the top four reasons why organizations need to archive social media:


1. Enterprise collaboration is using social media at an ever-increasing rate

An Osterman Research survey found that the average employee spends 28 minutes per day using social media during work hours (not counting time spent away from work). This translates into 2.9 work weeks annually. With the shift in collaboration from email to social media, organizations must archive social media communications, along with its standard email archiving protocols.

2. Inappropriate Use of Social Media

The Osterman survey found that nearly 79% of organizations do not archive their users’ content posted to social media and that 13% of organizations have terminated an employee because of something they posted on a social media site.

3. Organizational Data Leakage

Osterman found that 13% of organizations have experienced sensitive or confidential information leakage through Facebook, 9% through Twitter and 10% through LinkedIn. This loss of data can lead to damaged reputation, potential litigation and loss of untold amounts of money.

4. Burden of Regulation Compliance

The majority of organizations do not archive social media content, despite regulations, court decisions and other guidance that points to the fact that this content should be archived. The following examples highlight, by industry, a number of regulations and suggestions for social media archiving and usage:

  • Financial – FINRA 10-06 states that firms must retain records of social media communications.
  • Government – NARA October 2010 Bulletin explains that as government agencies adopt Web 2.0 tools, they must comply with all records management laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Commercial – FRCP rules state that all employee-created social media content that is work-related, regardless of whether or not it was created on a personal account, is discoverable. Not only should this be archived and supervised according to corporate policies, but archiving this data in a siloed bin may be required to address employee privacy issues.
  • Healthcare – HIPAA or Federal Substance Abuse Confidentiality laws may apply in the context of receiving and retaining patient approval to post content to social media.


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