This is probably not a save zone for me to wade into, as it's my opinion that there is no such thing as a lawyer proof rule that still makes sense.
I'm kind of with Hal on this one, when people say something for example "You're lying" then they should follow it up with "You're lying because you state XYZ, which are untrue."
Of course this then shifts it into the category of 'is it a lie if they don't think it's a lie' and 'if you can't prove it you don't know it's not a lie' and so on.
Ultimately if you're not able to tell somebody that they lied, or to illustrate the inaccuracy of their position via their own words then any conversation auto-fails at that point. Its always been my opinion that people don't inherently have a right to not be offended by something. If being called out as a liar, whether the words used to express it are sweet or bitter offends; then the problem lies with the offended.
People have the amazing capacity to be insulted by virtually anything. Probably me posting this is offending somebody.
I guess the rule of thumb "don't be a dick" could have an addendum that states: "if you have to, then be a normal one and not some huge mutant porn star sized dick."
Actually Em, this is mainly in reference to me having recently undertaken the onerous and if I may so, appallingly underpaid position of Forum Guide.
It occurred to me yesterday that part of my duties may be to explain to a confused newbie the Forum's Rules and how they're applied.
It then occurred me that I don't really know the Forum's Rules and how they're applied.
So this thread is only a request for information from more experienced members.
But feel free to discuss stuff if you want to.
You're not kidding about being underpaid!
The last iteration of the rules I read were pretty straightforward.
My own experience in the drivers seat is that there will never be a satisfactory answer. The rules can only be so comprehensive before it gets to TL:DR territory, which IMO thanks to twitter has become a lot less than it used to be. When in doubt try to adhere to the 'don't be a dick' philosophy and when that fails remember that a forum is not a democracy. Ultimately it performs a function, and even though that function contains lots of leeway, it's still a function.