I had one journal in this forum, and I asked that it be locked for several reasons, the main one being that it was taking up a lot of my time to maintain. But yes, I found myself asking myself this same question as well.
Most of my stories there were from years ago, and the ones that included my sisters, well, they seemed okay with it. They are rather like me in the attitude, "It's what happened, so what?"
But as I shared stories from the past, I had a friend quibble the point with me that it wasn't actually a journal, since it only dealt with the past. So...I offered up a dose of "my today" which was a not-so-nice viewpoint of an argument with me and my husband. Then I was accused of airing my dirty laundry in public. So yanno? I figured if you can't please everyone, you've got to please yourself, so I had the damned thing locked. As for the questions of did I invade the privacy of my husband by sharing our life with the world without his permission?
Maybe. But frankly, I feel the key words to the question I asked above is "our life"--it happens to be MINE too. I wanted to remind him of that. The entry showed an ugly side of BOTH of us, and I chose to share it as an uncomfortable look at the pure venom that can spew forth in an unhappy marital situation. It just is what it is...
As for whether or not I feel any regret for invading um, "his" privacy (is it an invasion of privacy to write what was screamed at the top of our lungs?) I happen to think that it sent a clear message to him at the time.
It's my life too. If I exposed some bad behaviors on his part, he should know I exposed my own as well.
He knows now that I'm willing to tell it all, and as I did tell him, "Consider yourself fortunate that I haven't as yet told my stories in court."
But I did ask an adminstrator lock that particular journal. There's another journal out there that I chose to keep more private as it exposes a lot of negative aspects of myself and others--some of it illegal.
Good question though, skyshine. It seems more urgent now, given the speed of information transfer with today's technology (anybody care to discuss cellphone photography?) but the question actually has been around for some time.
Truman Capote once wrote a thinly veiled tell-all of the elite, and yes, he was then deemed untrustworthy by his own inner circle. Comedians often comment that loved ones and friends became more guarded in their behavior around them when it became apparent that "everything" was fair game in the quest for entertaining new material.
So you see, the question can be applied across the board for I believe, all of the arts.
I personally feel that a line had to be drawn for me, which is why I chose not to detail the tribulations of HIS medical problems and my sometimes futile attempts at caregiving. But I did do just that for awhile, and it did help (me) to have an outlet for my frustration.
Some days I thought I would just explode...so I did, within the pages of my journal.
It's a personal decision though, and I won't attempt to define ethics for everyone.
There's just me, and what I have to live up to (and with) and I wouldn't dream of laying that on anyone else. But do understand that if you decide to share details of your life, people around you may become more guarded as a result, and yanno? I'd prolly do the same.
So good luck to you, whatever you may decide. And may all of your journal entries be joyful.