Subject: Use your best judgement.
Posted on: 2020-01-08 05:53:22 UTC
I'm of two minds about how to look at it. On the one hand, I think the ability to take down something you no longer like might be a nice thing to have, and I wouldn't want to cause anyone harm by dredging up something they were trying to move past. On the other hand, taking down a fic seems like an acknowledgement that it was bad, and a sporking might not tell the author anything they don't already know (if they even see it, which they shouldn't). Plus, Internet 101 lessons include "don't put anything out there you wouldn't want [your mom/your boss/your kids/the police/everyone forever] to see," so I don't tend to feel too bad if people put questionable things out there anyway.
But, it just depends. If the fic is bad because it's one of the millions of poorly executed fics out there, I'd probably let it go if deleted. If it's bad because it's offensive, though, I'd probably have no ethical qualms using a sporking of it as a platform to confront things that should be confronted. Probably—legitimate repentance does happen sometimes. Unrepentant dodging of justified censure happens a lot more, though.
For myself, I routinely make copies of things I'm missioning for note-taking and backup purposes. If something does get deleted when I'm in the middle of it, I'm not likely to abandon a story I've already put a lot of work into or force a sudden ending I didn't plan (though writing your agents getting caught in a deletion is an option not to be ignored!). If it's something I haven't started yet, though, I'd probably let it go.
I don't usually make a copy until I'm ready to start on it, anyway. I would definitely not suggest downloading every fic you think you might spork so there's no escape. That seems skeevy.
I would suggest preferring older badfics over new ones. This mitigates a lot of concerns, likelihood of deletion among them.