Social media archiving for elected officials

Are you an elected councillor or government minister? Did you know that you’re required by law to archive your official social media? Brolly makes it easy for government organisations and their elected officials to comply with recordkeeping legislation and archive official social media records. We do this using groups. Each group is like a private part of Brolly that keeps your archive partitioned off and managed by you.

If you’ve been invited to be the owner of a Brolly group, our video will show you how to get started and we’ve answered some common questions from elected officials just like you.

Watch the video!

If you’ve been invited to be a group owner in Brolly, watch this video to learn how to start archiving your official social media safely and securely.

Answers to common questions

If you’re an elected official and your organisation is using Brolly to archive official social media accounts, you probably have questions!  Start here for answers and please reach out on our contact page if you need more information. We’re always happy to help.

Why does my official Facebook page or Twitter account need to be archived?

The social media conversations you have in your official capacity as an elected official are public records. That means they are subject to the same legislation as other records you generate in your official capacity. As an elected official the conversations you have on social media related to your role are subject to the law, and need to be archived. This includes the conversations you have on the public feed and also in private messages, or direct messages (DMs).

The specific Acts that apply will vary depending on which State you’re in, but generally the legislation includes:

  • public records legislation
  • freedom of Information (FOI) legislation
  • privacy legislation and principles
  • local government legislation
  • electoral advertising guidelines.

Note: Freedom of Information (FOI) requests can include requests to provide social media records. If Council is required to provide records from your archive in response to an FOI request, those records will be available to the requestor and to others with whom they share the records.

What is the difference between my Facebook profile and my Facebook page?

Your Facebook profile is your individual, personal Facebook account. This is how you log in and interact with people who are ‘friends’ with you on Facebook. 

If you are using Facebook as an elected official or for your own business, you should use your personal profile to create a Facebook page to keep your personal and professional social media use separate. Facebook pages remain separate from your profile. Using the page, people can interact with you without needing to be friends.

When you use your Facebook profile to create a business or official Facebook page, you are an admin of the page so you can update it and interact ‘as the page’ on Facebook.

You can also invite others to help manage your Facebook page. You can invite administrators, editors, advertisers and other roles. The people you invite cannot see the details and conversations in your personal profile. They log in using their own profile and can manage the Facebook page because you gave them permission to do so. You can also remove their access at any time. 

When I connect my social media to Brolly, what gets archived?

When you connect a Facebook page, Twitter account, business Instagram or other social media channel to Brolly, you give Brolly permission to capture the posts and comments on the page or account you connect. If you have private messages or direct messages enabled, the archive will also capture those conversations. 

In order to comply with Australian privacy legislation and principles, we store these private and direct messages in a different part of Brolly, and if you want to export these records we ensure that exports of messages are  not mixed in with exports of records on your ‘public feed’. 


Why does Brolly prompt me to log in to my personal Facebook profile when I connect a Facebook page?

As the page owner, you are the primary ‘authorised user’ of your official Facebook page.  When you connect to Brolly, you may be asked to log in to confirm you have the right to access your page. Facebook takes privacy seriously and access to your Facebook is strictly protected, so that only an authorised user can connect your account to Brolly. 

Other authorised users of your page are the people you’ve added into your page as admins or editors.

When I use my official social media to interact on channels other than my own, are my comments archived?

Brolly archives the accounts that you’ve connected to your Brolly group. So if you post or comment on any of the official accounts that you connected to Brolly, those posts or comments will be captured in your archive.

Council has probably also connected their official social media accounts, such as the main council Facebook page, Twitter account, community Facebook group and maybe some other accounts. Examples might be the council library or  the local swimming pool. This varies from council to council. If you post or comment on any of the accounts that council staff have connected to Brolly, your comments and post swill be captured in the council’s archive.

However, if you post or comment on other social media channels, those records will not be captured in your archive.

Take care when contributing to other social media accounts, particularly those managed by government organisations, as your interactions there may be captured on their archive in line with their legal obligations.

I am a member of a number of Facebook groups. Do my interactions in Facebook groups get archived?

If an organisation such as a local council has created a Facebook group and connected it to Brolly, then your interactions in that group are archived. 

However if your personal profile or official Facebook page interacts with a community group that’s not owned by Council and has not been added to Brolly, then your interactions are not archived. 

Please consider Facebook rules, your code of conduct and Council’s policies when interacting in Facebook groups. 

Can other councillors see my Brolly archive?

No. Council has set up Brolly using groups so that your archive is only visible to you and the appropriate Council staff. In this way your privacy and the privacy of constituents you talk to on social media is protected. 

I have another business page that is not relevant to the work I do as an elected member. Will this page also be archived?

No. Council is only required to archive the social media records created by you in relation to council business. When connecting accounts, you can choose which pages to connect to Brolly. Simply choose the ones that relate to your role as an elected official. 

Does Brolly archive my Facebook page from before I was elected?

No. When you connect your account to Brolly you can set the start date for your archive. Council will confirm the date that your archive should start. This would normally be the date you were elected or an onboarding date or similar. 

What happens when my term is finished?

At the end of your term, Council will no longer be required to archive your social media. Capture will cease when your term ends. This will keep the records you created during your term in Brolly but will not capture any more records from your social media accounts. 

Is my privacy protected? Will Brolly keep my records safe?

Brolly has been built with legislative compliance in mind, including privacy laws. Your archive is stored on Australian servers, which means your records are protected under Australian law and in line with the national and state privacy laws and principles. No matter what happens on Facebook or Twitter, your archive is secure. 

As the owner of a Brolly group, what will I need to do?

Brolly is a set-and-forget solution to social media archiving for compliance. Once you have connected your social media accounts to Brolly you will only need to log in if there is ever a need to reconnect your account. This is sometimes necessary if a social media platform changes their policies or updates their API. Brolly will send you an email if reconnection is required.

Need help connecting your Brolly groups?

Jump on a quick 20 minute call with our friendly, local team and get started now.

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