[Side note: This issue has cropped up enough times on my FList this week, that I'm wondering if there's been a massive influx new people joining LJ who might not realize that posts can be locked or aren't aware of F-Locked Post Etiquette. Although, to be fair, not all of it is about discussing F-Locked posts in public, some of it is people worrying that RL them can be linked to LJ them.]
I don't normally F-Lock posts (I think I've done it something like three times since I started on LJ), but at least half my FList does use them on a regular basis for various reasons ranging from the personal to the rant-y.
PLEASE RESPECT THE F-LOCK!
(Again, let me stress, this is not aimed at any particular person on my FList. Several people on my FList have been burned by something said about them in a FLocked post in the past, and they had a right to feel burned since it was the LJ equivalent of shit-talking behind their back. Thankfully, I've only heard about such grey-area situations after the fact. Never been involved in one.)
I know this is problematic when you're linking to a fic you assume is public and the fic is F-Locked (it's happened more to me more than once...unh, the clicking part, not the locked fic part). So please check for that little icon that indicates the post is locked before linking to a fic.
Also, linking to locked posts...not cool. People have various reasons for locking posts, even the fanfic ones, the big one being that they want to avoid RL people from stumbling across their LJ and connecting dots. This, too, has happened to people on my FList and given the blog-averse atmosphere in some workplaces, it's a very real fear with very real consequences. Unfair, I know, especially if the person in question doesn't even talk about their workplace in their posts, but if the blogger in question writes anything the employer might find questionable and/or offensive to their sensibilities, that blogger might be out of a job. For those of you in the U.S., I don't have to tell you that it's a very cruel punishment in this economic environment.
As for my own personal F-Locking policies:
- I generally don't do it, partly because I'm careful about putting out any personal information that might link RL me to LJ me and partly because I know there are alot of anons that read my fic.
- That said, should a RL link happen, I reserve the right to lock the whole LJ down.
- Whenever I do F-Lock, it's for a damn good reason, so I'd be pissed if it showed up outside my LJ if someone doesn't ask my permission first. I've been bitten on this issue several times myself. It hasn't happened on LJ, but in making private posts on boards that were supposed to be private members-only boards. I've found those posts reprinted, without my permission in other forums (certain members of the XanderZone were big violators of this rule). While it was nothing bad, once or twice I had to tear the resulting mountains back down to molehills.
- Because I know human nature and I know that sometimes people don't see the little lock icon, I will put F-Locked or some other indication in the header to show that the post in question is F-Locked. I've always done this, more as a notation for me. However, now I'm doing it so you will have no excuse.
- If you can't see but want to see the F-Locked post in question, email me. I might be willing to send the text to you, depending on a lot of things. I reserve the right to refuse.
- If you want to repost any portion of one of my F-Locked posts or link to it, ask me first. I have an LJ email addy, so use it to ask. I may even unlock the post in question if I think I overreacted on the F-Lock. Not likely to happen since I don't F-Lock that often, but it's worth asking.
As for public posts, link away. They are public and, as such, I have zero, zilch, and no problems if the links get passed around. It's public, so obviously I want it to be read. Consider this carte blanche permission.