Is lying allowed on SD? Because calling it out certainly is not.

Got a warning for accusing a poster of lying. Before you go, “Of course you did. That’s against the rules.” Please look here.

OK you didn’t click? Here it is. In a thread on politician lying I pointed out that Harry Ried lied and no one cared. Happy Fun Ball comes along and says he agrees and then follows up with commenting that he looked at my post history and that I support the following positions
*Benghazi was a crime
*Hillary Clinton should be imprisoned for the email server fiasco
*I’m a Trump supporter

Thing is, based on my posting history the first two are objectively false and the third is subjective and although I support some of Trump policies I don’t blindly support everything he does*. But this is a thread on lying and how no one cares right? I mean Happy Fun Ball agreed with me that no one cares. Maybe (I think) he deliberately did that for irony. You must admit that his post makes a huge shift in the second paragraph and transitioned with “Or maybe I should say nobody cares unless it is their ox being gored. For instance,”

So I took that as deliberately making up lies to illustrate his point. Why didn’t I report it?** Because I felt it was an example appropriately in a thread about lying just like my response of Hey you’re lying was appropriate as a bit between HFB and me to show that people don’t care.

And to top it off, Bone gives me a warning for accusing HFB of lying but of course no comment made to HFB. I disagree with the warning and ask that it be recinded based on the context of the thread, how HFB wrote his post and me being explicit saying “Are you trying to be ironic lying about my positions because …” in my reply.
BUT that raises a point. Suppose a poster says things that a objectively and provably untrue. Suppose I say in a thread that poster X has written many times that he thinks raping unconcious women is OK since they can’t say no. That is a lie but if poster X says, “That’s a lie.” He is warned. Am I ever warned? Should poster X report it? If so will the mods make it clear my post was a lie? Is it even possible for poster X to rebut what I said without explicitly calling me a liar? And if so, how is it fair that I can toss out these thread bombs of lies left and right and other posters need to tiptoe around them lest they get modded? Why must the rebuttal be softer than the accusation.

So what is the SD rules and policies when a poster says thing that are objectively untrue about another poster and how can the other side respond?

*Although sometimes I think that on the SDMB that not believing everything Trump does is evil makes you a Trump supporter.

** FTR I did report it after my warning because if I get a warning for saying “You’re lying.” then the liar should as well. But honestly I feel neither one of us should get any modding BUT I feel more strongly that there should not be a double-standard.

In a similar situation, I responded, “not true”, and I had no problem. I think that’s because “not true” isn’t an attack on someone’s character, but “you’re lying” is.

It’s not the best rule, IMO, but it’s been here for a long time. Never say any poster is lying. You can say a third party is lying, but not a poster. In GD, at least.

That said, I do think we should at least be able to report it when someone seems to be deliberately stating falsehoods, with the idea that, if the mods agree, they will tell the poster to stop doing so.

That thread is in Great Debates, which has specific rules regarding accusations of lying:

This and other GD specific rules can be found in the sticky at the top of the forum.

I once had a poster accuse me of supporting molestation of women (or something equally vile) in my posts. I said it was not true and challenged him to provide one single post of mine supporting that position. After a period that was, I assumed, busy with research on his part, he apologized saying that he had confused me with another poster. Sloppy posting on his part, but not lying (if I were to take him at his word, which I did). Your case might have been something similar.

This wasn’t in GD (I don’t think it was anyway) but I think it is the best approach for any case where you are being accused of supporting some position in your SDMB posts. I know this kind of thing can feel like a very personal attack, but you, the accused, have to maintain your cool. If you play it right, maybe you can get an apology too.

There are lots of things said on this board that are not true (this is not one of them). Some of them may be lies, but when it is not a personal attack it really doesn’t matter, it’s a matter of finding and supporting the truth where possible. If there is an extreme case of lying about you, and you can prove it’s a lie (without calling it that), the liar could conceivably get modded for a personal attack, but you would have to handle it very carefully, with objectivity and calm.

Interestingly, exactly that scenario has played out here. Happy Fun Ball has admitted mistaking Saint Cad for another poster and apologized for it.

I kind of wish that even a sincere apology weren’t a get out of jail free card for making that kind of mistake. I mean, lots of people might read the accusation who never come back to read the retraction. This is one of the problems with all the ad hominem attacks on this board (i.e. that people aren’t careful to research their attacks in advance) and one of the reasons I wish we didn’t have so much of that stuff here. For myself, I don’t much care what anyone “really” believes, I am mostly interested in their arguments as stated.

Just take your grudge to the Pit, where you can say what you want.

I think my issue with the warning was it is not a simple as accusing the poster of lying. Given the thread and the way he wrote the post I didn’t take it as malicious lying but rather “As an example, let me demonstrate that I can make up lies about you and you are the only one that will care.” To that end and to support his demonstration I think saying explicitly “Those are lies because we are talking about lying so let’s be clear those are lies and you are lying.” What is lost on Bone methinks is the context of the two posts and how they relate to the discussion.

First, there is a difference between being mistaken and lying. This example emphasizes this point. HFB states that he was mistaken, not lying. Yet you accused him of lying which is not permitted.

I’m going to address the questions and comments all at once:

If you continually make up statements and falsely attribute them to another poster, it can be considered harassment, trolling, hijacking, or simply being a jerk. Context will determine whether it’s a pattern of behavior or something different. It is unlikely the moderation team will make a declaration that a given statement is a lie. It is simple to rebut an inaccurate statement without explicitly calling another poster a liar. A rebuttal need not be softer than the accusation. If a poster says something that is objectively untrue then the simplest way to respond is to demonstrate the falsity of the statement. If the statement is constructed in such a way as this demonstration would be difficult as it would be to prove a negative, then a call for evidence is typically the way to go.
A: You told everyone that blue was your favorite color!
B: No, I didn’t. Do you have any evidence that I made that claim?
A: crickets

Of course you did. That’s against the rules.

I don’t need to “look here”, because I saw this already and there is no question that you accused another poster of lying. Whether that poster was lying, or whether you were accusing of him of “ironically” lying is besides the point. There is no escape clause in the rules for either of those situations.

I do think that if a poster makes a provably false claim, is corrected, and later (even in another thread) repeats it, then they should be called out for lying, but maybe it should be a moderator making the determination after a report?

Just for the record, I never thought HFB was lying per se. Given the thread and his post, I thought he was making a point and I went along with it and used the term “lying” because I thought given the topic of lying and what I thought he was trying to point out that saying “I believe you are mistaken my good sir” would soften his point of “No one cares about blatant lying.” I still object to the warning since I feel it neglects any context of the thread, his post or mine but I guess that’s what you get with zero tolerance rules.

Looks like that is “unlikely”. I don’t see why it’s so important that someone gets called a liar. But if you really must, just do it in the Pit. Problem solved.

zero tolerance rules are really easy to enforce.

Anyway, it was just one warning, and now you know.


That question mark adds a little ambiguity. Are you intending to TELL us what you think, or ASK us what you think?

I’ll admit to having done something similar once or twice. I recall in a Same Sex Marriage debate someone kept bringing up the ‘marrying my dishwasher’ argument and being refuted. Finally, when it was brought up again I declared it out of bounds and jerkish behavior to keep returning to it. I took the step because it appeared to not be debating in good faith.

Hopefully, the poster didn’t shift the argument to marrying his refrigerator! :slight_smile:

That’s cold.