Formalising the text message – for or against?

Topic:

The surge of people using the text message to communicate raises an arguable question – should the text message become a formalised mode of communication?

A court heard recently that the City of Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, declared under oath that he did not have an affair with his chief of staff nor did he fire two police officers in a retaliatory manner. However, text messages between the mayor and his chief of staff suggested otherwise and brought his testimony into question.   The City eventually settled with the police officers, but the incident does highlight the need for businesses to include all messaging systems in their recording policies.

ARMA International, a not-for-profit professional association for managing records and information, states that “a record, regardless of its format or the media on which it is recorded, supports decisions, justifies budgets and expenses, communicates ideas, confirms sales and purchases, documents rights, provides accountability, and otherwise provides information. This information may be required by executives, staff members, legal/regulatory authorities, stockholders, students, the public, and others in the organisation.”

Ultimately, if emails, word documents and phone conversations are accepted for official records, then surely text messages should be too?

For further information, please check out ARMA International