Hairline ceiling cracks are normally caused by differential movement due to temperature & relative humidity, and nothing practical can be done to stop them. Attempts to prevent future cracking don't work. Sometimes people cause damage trying to stop future movement.
When hairline cracks occur, just wipe the crack with a finger with a bit of filler on. Wipe any filler off the surface and its done.
Occasionally the 2 sides of the crack move up & down relative to each other, and wiped in filler soon falls out. If this happens the 2 plasterboard edges need to be connected to each other so neither can flap. Lift a floorboard above, place wood strips above the ceiling and screw through the plasterboard into them. Only use plasterboard screws, other types break up the plasterboard.
Where damage has been done by gouging the ceiling & filling badly, the solution is to fill/level the damage. Do it well & its invisible. Some folk apply excess filler & sand it down, its much easier IME to level the filler when its applied, not sand it later. If cracking is extensive it can be easier to skim the whole ceiling.
Flexible fillers are ineffective since they have only slight flexibility, and the amount of flex required to continue to fill a hairline crack is 100s of %.
Small cracks are best filled the same way, just wipe on some filler.