One of the most commonly cited reasons for requiring people to contact an s-type's dominant, master, or owner prior to contacting the s-type is, "for protection." What is never elaborated upon is why protection of any sort is necessary when interacting with people online. Even the most intimidating and profane email is just an email. If its contents are unsettling delete, block, and report functions are always available, as is the option to log off and step away from the computer. One is not obligated to read or respond to every message received, after all, and any adult who is successfully using the internet should be aware of this by now. If an s-type truly needs to be protected from text on a computer screen, well...perhaps that s-type might be better off without a non-private profile on a widely used social networking site, eh? Furthermore, even if, for the sake of argument, it is assumed that protection from the meanies on the internet is necessary, is requiring strangers to jump through hoops to obtain permission to communicate with the oh-so-fragile s-type effective in providing that protection? Assholes will be assholes, and even bolded fonts cannot prevent that. If someone wishes to send Miss Fragile Subby a rude, threatening message they will not be dissuaded by a sentence that orders them to ask her dominant first. Alternatively, someone who desires to cause conflict and upset in Miss Fragile's life may opt to comply with these sorts of demands initially, only to show their meanie head colors once trust has been earned and information gained under the pretense of nice, respectful internet friend who follows the rules. In short, requesting that people on the internet contact Miss Fragile's dominant before contacting her will fail to eliminate both the harmless meanies and the legitimately problematic assholes, and it does not provide any protection that I can perceive.
Does Miss Fragile Subby's Facebook profile include a line about how Mr. Strong Dom would prefer that you contact him before sending her a message? Probably not, particularly if that Facebook profile is viewed by vanilla friends, family members, and coworkers. The vanillas wouldn't "get" it. On a site like FetLife, however, surely everyone would get it? Not so much. FetLife is not devoted solely to those involved in D/s, M/s, or O/p relationships. It is a site for kinksters of all stripes, including those who are utterly unfamiliar with and uninterested in power exchange relationships and the trappings that commonly accompany those sorts of relationships. The masochist who merely enjoys a sound beating from time to time may not understand your M/s relationship or the restrictive rules and requirements that surround it, nor should the masochist be expected to. Demanding that someone outside of your relationship adhere to and abide by the rules and restrictions of your relationship is inappropriate, in my opinion, and arrogant to boot. Requiring a stranger to obtain permission from Mr. Strong Dom before speaking to Miss Fragile is essentially requiring a stranger to actively submit to Mr. Strong and his decrees. I am baffled by how many people expect this active submission from virtual strangers, and I am still more baffled at the high level of umbrage taken when a stranger does not submit.
What I find to be the most inexplicable aspect of the whole 'ask my master if you can message me' nonsense is the sheer inefficiency of it. Sure, I could message Mr. Strong Dom to ask for his blessing and permission to speak with the precious Miss Fragile, wait a few hours to a few weeks for his response, and then, if the response is favorable, send a message to Miss Fragile herself and wait another several hours to weeks to hear back from her, but the entire process is rather drawn out and cumbersome if I simply want to ask a question or compliment something that she posted. If Mr. Strong put those brain cells to work, however, he might realize that the whole clumsy ordeal could mitigated significantly with only minor alterations. He could retract his requirement that people wanting to communicate with his precious obtain his permission first, and instead implement a rule that Miss Fragile is responsible for notifying him of any correspondence received. This would allow Mr. Strong to continue screening Miss Fragile's contacts and "protecting" her from the meanies, while also transferring the onus of Miss Fragile's restrictions to Miss Fragile alone, eliminating any demands of submission or hoop jumping from strangers, and drastically simplifying the process for all involved. Granting himself unfettered access to Miss Fragile's various accounts would serve the same purpose, and would simplify the process even further.
People are welcome to do as they like, of course. If your dominant wishes to have people seek his permission before they contact you, or if your slave is required to ignore any correspondence not authorized by you in advance, that is your business. If the both of you are content with this, so be it. That said, I do hope that the extent of the implications of rules of this nature are fully understood. I am interested in hearing from those who disagree with my opinions on this topic should anyone care to respond.