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Testing Campus Orgs Initiative : Social Media Collection Policy

Social Media Collecting Policy

Furman University Libraries (FUL) Special Collections and Archives collects data from social media accounts of individuals, organizations, or other groups who want to donate or transfer their records to the Archives. All donors who are transferring records to the FUL Special Collections and Archives must complete the Social Media Donation/Transfer form. 

We collect social media by requesting you, the donor/transferrer to 1) download a copy of the data for your account(s) and 2) transfer the generated data file (zip format) to the Archives as a digital transfer. Instructions on how to donate and transfer your social media data can be found under the Guidelines to Transfer Social Media Account Data to the University Archives web page. 

Once social media account data is ingested in the Archives, it will be accessible by the public in the form of the .zip file donated, which means, content will not be viewed the same way as it would on the web. Please note that social media platforms collect a broad range of personal information from those using them, and that the data downloaded from social media accounts will likely contain sensitive information of which you may not be aware as an account holder. Special Collections and Archives has devised a set of default steps to manage potentially sensitive data and will provide you an opportunity to opt in or opt out for the preservation of and access to certain categories of data (see table below). 

Table with information related to categories of potentially sensitive data that might be included in the download .zip file and FU Special Collections and Archives’ retention policy for each type. Table adopted with permission from UCSF- Social Media Collecting Policy.
Data Type Retention Policy Donor Choice
Account Information Delete phone numbers and email addresses  
Account Creation IP Information Delete  
Advertising Engagements, Impressions, Conversions, etc. Retain unless donor requests deletion Donor can choose to opt out
Age Information Delete age and birth date  
Contacts Delete added contact information and lists  
Device and Token Information Delete information to keep a user logged-in  
Direct Messages Delete unless donor requests preservation and certifies that they do not contain protected health information Donor can choose to opt-in
Personalization (Advertising) Information Retain algorithmically-generated personalization information  
Phone Number Delete  
Searches Retain  
Screen Name Change Information Retain  

Special Collections and Archives accepts electronic content at the moment of transfer and does not schedule automatic harvesting/capturing of social media accounts. If your organization or group would like us to facilitate ongoing transfer of your social media content, please reach out to to help you set up an automatic download/transfer schedule. 

For more information as to why Special Collections and Archives does not harvest social media data, read this article published by NCSU on ethical/legal implications:

Policy adapted with permission from UCSF Archives and Special Collections