Managing Social Media Records is not Impossible!

By Colin Anderson, Practice Manager at Citadel

Now and into the future, the most successful companies will be transparent with their clients and other businesses, interacting dynamically via an ever-growing number of social media platforms. The challenge to maintain compliant records can seem overwhelming but there is no need to throw your hands up in despair.

Today, everything is digital as we constantly look at ways to do things faster and easier. The Australian community is seeking more engagement from businesses and expect full accountability and transparency.

Social media allows businesses to collaborate, participate, contribute and reuse online information as part of normal business activity. If your business uses social media, the National Archives of Australia advises that the information created is a Commonwealth record and needs to be managed properly, and kept in a usable and accessible form.

WhatsApp messages present a challenge to FOI requests, given they are encrypted and unlikely to exist in a ‘material form’ having not being officially recorded within an organisation.

Moira Paterson, Professor of Law at Monash University recently stated ‘If the FOI Act is to operate effectively, WhatsApp messages must be filed in such a way that they can readily be searched and retrieved. They must also be preserved consistently with the retention requirements in the Archives Act. It is unlikely that current practice is fully consistent with these requirements. If WhatsApp messages do exist, can be found and are stored in searchable form they are potentially accessible via FOI. But to call them up could involve huge workload requirements.’

Social media is dynamic and the content is ever changing, and many businesses have already begun the process of recording their social media data. Monitoring a range social media platforms across a business can be time consuming and inaccurate due to lack of visibility across mobile platforms such as WhatsApp. It is important that key information of discussions, deliberations and decision making on these devices is captured.

The National Archive of Australia also states that information received on a mobile device are subject to the same FOI requirements as desktop records, and it is crucial that these records are captured within a business’s records management system.

Recording of information can be done using technical means, which involves software which creates logs and records of information within instant messenger or social media applications, or procedural which requires staff to create a file note with key information of discussions or decisions made at the time of the message and save it in your company’s records management system, or other endorsed business system, as soon as possible. This can become even more complex with non-written communication such as voicemail.

End-to-End Securing of Social Media Records

The Citadel-Social platform offers a simple end-to-end solution to monitor, secure, and archive social media communications such as WhatsApp. We give your business the freedom to:

  • Capture and catalogue the content of WhatsApp and other social media applications
  • Customise our advanced policy engine to define what content to flag, block, or monitor
  • Capture and audit conversation content from day one of implementation, or optionally capture content before implementation
  • Review and search all archives content, including customisable retention management
  • Implement and scale quickly, with informed consent for your employees – no need to install an app or custom software on employee devices


Citadel-Social is a simple AI tool that delivers essential security and compliance across a wide range of digital channels, with a number of additional functionalities including automatic social media platform monitoring and tailored alerts. It can even shut down fake social media accounts mimicking your business.

Find Out More HERE or Contact Us for a Free Demo.

Citadel is a leading Australian software and technology company that specialises in secure information management across Australian Defence, Health, Education and other enterprises.