The US state of North Carolina has taken the unprecedented step of providing complete public access to 100,000 archived social media posts.
The North Carolina Social Media Archive is currently in a beta version and being piloted to a handful of government agencies, however, plans are underway to expand the technology to all 130 agencies.
Driving the need to archive social media is the requirements for all levels of government to provide accessible information under ‘Freedom of Information laws. However, further to complying with laws, it is expected that the social media archives will become a useful tool for social researchers and attorneys fighting lawsuits.
According to the program’s designers, Archive Social, previous tools to archive social media have typically converted these posts to another file format such as Word or PDF. However, North Carolina’s system will capture information directly from Facebook and Twitter in the file format it was created in, so all metadata remains intact. Visitors can expand comments on a Facebook post, view full-sized photos, explore hash tags, and more.
Archive Social is also looking at expanding the service to include YouTube, Flickr and Pinterest.