I know I have been in, shall we say, troubled relations with the moderation in the past. So I wonder how strictly the moderation is applied.
If I write something that can be interpreted as an insult to anyone, no matter how far-fetched that interpretation might be (I have rewritten posts several times before posting in order to avoid even getting close to it), will that result in an instant ban? Or how exactly are the rules applied?
First off, only (commercial) spammers get instant bans, so don't worry about that happening to you.
We don't treat insults on a 'in the eye of the beholder' basis. The rules really are quite simple: if you want to avoid warnings, don't direct abusive language at another member personally and don't dig into their perceived personal faults. Keep to the content of their arguments.
Acceptable: What you just wrote is idiotic.
Unacceptable: You're an idiot.
SQ's advice is a very good one.
Despite the 'troubled past' between you and the moderators, you've since shown willingness to adapt your posting behaviour to the rules. And when you don't understand those, you ask. We appreciate that. You're not on thin ice or anything. We only ban members after they've repeatedly violated the rules, ignored the warnings and show no willingness to change after temporary suspension. We don't like banning people, and it's not something we do lightly.
Does that make it a bit clearer?