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Social Media and Record Management

The phenomenon of social media does not have a long history and is constantly developing. Social media provide web-based services for online communication and information sharing. Such popular websites as Facebook or Twitter serve as perfect examples of successful social media. At the same time, the phenomenon of record management emerged as a response to constantly growing information flow. The procedure of recording presupposes preservation of some amount of information in physical or digital form while the concept of record management focuses on information evaluation and effective use of resources for preserving it. The combination of these two notions is extremely promising for any public or private enterprise.

However, despite the shiny prospects, this process involves a number of challenges. The first challenge is the decision of whether the information from social media requires archiving. The second problem relates to the information being within public access without any control. Such issue also complicates the procedure of recording. The third challenge concerns the use of metadata for the content of social media. Finally, there is lack of knowledge and educated specialists in the field of record management. All these challenges have a temporary character and do not require a significant amount of time for finding a solution.

At the same time, it is important to establish the limitations and rules related to the control of recorded data. Since the information placed in social media is personal and private, no agency can control what data requires recording. However, recording organizations are responsible for the structure and level of openness of archive. Moreover, these organizations can introduce different limitations and additional tools related to collecting information. Such practice serves two main purposes. On the one hand, it promotes effective recording management and, on the other hand, follows the principles of dealing with personal information.

The concept of privacy of the information recorded from social media is extremely important. Currently, different acts and laws provide guidance on the use of private personal information. Federal Records Act obliges federal agencies to record all their operations. National Archives and Records Administration designed a special set of rules concerning the evaluation, storage and disposal of records. Finally, Privacy Act of 1974 regulates the use of personal information by federal executives. At the same time, the number of acts related to the concept of privacy and its regulations is constantly growing.

Another essential aspect of record management and social networks is security. The Internet not only contains an enormous amount of information but also provides a free and quick access to it. At the same time, a variety of different frauds exists online. In terms of business, such use of data may pose serious risks to the security of business material as well as personal information. However, a specially designed framework for governmental agencies focuses on the protection of business data. Such framework does not consider the security of social media as a primary aspect but provides the directions and recommendations for solving this issue.

While the use of record management for social media is a new phenomenon, there are numerous examples of successful implementation of this procedure. For example, Centers for Disease Control actively record data from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Such practice is also common for the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and others. Currently, more and more organizations recognize the benefits of considering the information from social media as an essential part of record management. While, such practice still poses some challenges and questions related to the control, privacy, and security it provides numerous perspectives for the development of every business organization.