Tweets To White House Are Public Record

Hey, have you sent a message to the White House via Facebook or Twitter recently? If so, the public is entitled to see it. Apparently the National Archives and Records Administration has concluded “comments and messages the White House receives on its official pages are presidential records.” As a result of that determination, the Presidential Records Act requires that the messages be archived.

The announcement was posted Sept. 19 on the White House blog.

Congress enacted The Presidential Records Act 1978 as a reaction to the struggles over access to documents created by President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. It provides that records created or received by the president or his staff are public documents required to be preserved and archived by NARA.

The Presidential Records Act does require, however, that the NARA restrict access to information in presidential records that unduly intrudes upon personal privacy. So if a message contains personal information, the NARA will need to redact the information before releasing the message.

No word on whether the NARA will translate tweets – “OMG POTUS U ROCK” – into English.