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School officials Twittering cautiously to avoid violating open-records laws


Social networking sites present a record-keeping quandary for public agencies and officials who must follow Florida’s open government and public-records laws, reports the Naples Daily News. The laws demand that officials keep all correspondence regarding official business, allowing anyone to ask to view those communications at any time. But no real precedent exists for media such as Twitter and MySpace, Lee County School Board attorney Keith Martin said. The district established a Twitter profile in March at Twitter.com/LeeSchools, but Lee County Communications Director Joe Donzelli said the district’s foray into social networking will end there–at least for the time being. "If people start to communicate back and forth with elected officials … all of that information needed to be archived and kept," said Donzelli. "The problem is we have no control over Facebook and all of the other types of services like that. If they decided tomorrow to wipe out their databanks, all of that communication would be lost."

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