How do you explain to somebody that other people get hurt too, when they appear to experience selfhood as an island of victimised perfection in a sea of irrelevance and stupidity?
Is it okay to break a confidence if somebody's only asking you to keep it secret so that they can carry on manipulating you while simultaneously preventing you from asking your friends for support?
How do you tell somebody politely "Please stop fucking up the lives of my friends"?
One of the reasons that I don't bother making friends-only posts is that PEOPLE TALK TO EACH OTHER. I mean, in real life. Face-to-face. Realtime fully-interactive non-digitally-mediated 3D chat sessions. You know.
Sometimes people pass on gossip. But more often people just don't have a clue who can "see" a post and who can't, and they may well mention a post to a friend (a real friend, not a LiveJournal "friend") but only realise when they meet with blank incomprehension that that friend has been blocked from seeing the post in question.
It's interesting what gets around, though. It's interesting how complete a picture I can piece together of what's been said that I can't see, without even trying. I probably wouldn't bother trying; the content doesn't really interest me. But the information flow fascinates me; the unspoken assumptions (usually wrong) about who won't talk to whom. (I'd love to try to track the progression of a piece of news or information: to mention it in one place only and see how far it gets. The only problem would be how to determine where the information had got to: if you ask people "Did you know [whatever]?" you risk triggering false recognition.)
Personally I tend to take the view that if I say something anywhere, at all, it will escape eventually. Information wants to be free. If it's so horrible that I couldn't bear somebody to read it, then I probably shouldn't be writing it; if I write it, then as far as I'm concerned I have to be prepared to take the consequences of people seeing it.
Basically I don't like trying to solve social problems with technical solutions; if I wanted to try to control what other people said to each other, LiveJournal certainly wouldn't be the tool I'd use. I can't imagine wanting to do that, but some people are strange, eh?
Okay, as a result of my previous poll one person is now convinced that everybody is going to suddenly stop trusting them, and thus immediately cut them out of their friends lists without further discussion or explanation, because of what they said in answer to the poll. Sigh.
Perhaps I should have added some kind of disclaimer to the effect that the statements in the ticky-boxes are what you would feel/think/assume in the absence of any other specific information to the contrary from the poster.
And hopefully people are clueful enough to, y'know, talk to each other about things, and discuss it if they're worried about including them on "friends" groups, rather than just going "Argh, they said this on a stupid ticky-box poll, I must SPURN THEM henceforth".
I'm retrospectively filled with sympathy for the teachers on playground duty at my primary school.