The Traders' Forum is a Community
The Traders' Forum has always been a "community". Just like any
community, it has developed an understanding of standards for appropriate behavior.
These standards are generally "enforced" just as they are in any
community ... through peer influence. At times, however, the management of
this Forum will take direct action to eliminate abuse.
A Community has unwritten rules.
... and I'll write them down here to make sure you know about them.
Although I can't speak for the Forum community, I believe that the
community would generally agree that the following types of messages and
unacceptable in the Traders' Forum:
Advertising is unwanted. If you join in the discussion, we
likely don't mind if you post a link to your web site. Nor do we mind if you
post a message mentioning a great trading-related web site you believe
others would find interesting. However, messages posted with the intent
of promoting your web site or service - free or otherwise - are
not allowed and may be removed without notice.
- Harvesting email addresses/sending UCE
Nobody likes spam email. It is therefore unacceptable collect email
addresses posted in the Forum or in Forum profiles, for the purpose of
sending unsolicited commercial email (spam). Violators risk immediate
blocking from Forum access.
- Inflammatory messages and "flames"
If you must argue, or post personal criticisms do it in private email. We don't want to hear about it.
"Flames" will be removed without notice; messages contributing to,
or inciting flames might also be removed, especially if off-topic.
Flamers might find themselves blocked from accessing the forum.
What do we consider to be "flames"? -- posts that are insulting,
angry or argumentative beyond or without reason -- or those intended to incite
such a response from others. Flames are often off-topic. Attempts to disguise
flames by posing them as "innocent questions", etc. are often
transparent and ignored.
- Racist remarks or any prejudicial statements
Simply don't belong here, or in any community. "Racist statements"
will be removed without notice.
- Obscene language
It is not necessary to underscore opinions with obscenities. This is not the
neighborhood pub ... this is a place of intelligent discourse regarding
commodity trading. Postings containing inappropriate language -- not matter
how cleverly "masked" are subject to
removal without notice.
- Use of Images
Visitors who register profiles are able to upload images within their
messages. Note that this capability is intended for the use of posting
charts and other trading-related images only. Other posts might be removed
without notice. Please also be careful to not post images that are
copyrighted or are from other sites without explicit permission of the
copyright or site owner.
- Misleading posts or aliases
Including messages posted by the same person under multiple aliases with the
apparent intent (or the likely effect) of misleading others will be removed and the poster may be
blocked from accessing the Forum. Far worse is the impersonation of another
poster, which will almost undoubtedly result in immediate suspension of
We believe in free speech, but know that responsibly must follow that
freedom. Therefore, messages that are reported to the forum administration as
being possibly slanderous will be removed without notice or apology.
- "Foreign" languages
Although we understand the respect that the world of commodities trading
transcends geographical, political and cultural boundaries, this Forum is an
English-language Forum. Most participants speak English as a primary
language, as does the Forum management. If interest is expressed, we will
consider adding multiple language Forums in the future.
- False e-mail addresses
We do not require email addresses to be included with messages posted. We
do however, require that email addresses (if included on posts) must be
accurate, to save us all from the frustration of sending e-mails destined
to bounce be design.
- Pending legal matters and CFTC actions
We do not believe it to be appropriate to post messages about upcoming court
cases, unproven charges or allegations to the Forum. We believe it to be
suiting to wait for the courts do their jobs. In addition, we believe it to
be most appropriate to post links to CFTC action and enforcement news releases,
rather than copying them into the Forum. In the interest of preserving
integrity of the releases, CFTC releases posted to the Forum might be removed,
or replaced by a link to the original release on the
CFTC web site.
It seems like every day or two another hoax is found circulating on the
Internet. Often the hoaxes are harmless; sometimes, however hoaxes can
create discomfort and fear, or can be a vehicle of malice or prejudice. For
that reason, the posting of known hoaxes to the Forum is not allowed. If it
can be satisfactorily proven that a message is a hoax, it will be removed.
(We will consider a hoax to be "satisfactorily proven" if it is
listed as a hoax on an established hoax-tracking web site.)
- Copyrighted material
We are careful to respect the rights of others. Please help.
Take care not to post messages that contain copyrighted material, including
news stories, articles written by others, and charts from
other web sites ... unless you have permission of the owner.
- Anonymizer Services
Privacy is important to everyone. It is for the sake of privacy that some
people use "anonymizer services" to access web sites. Unfortunately, a few people
use anonymizer services for more sinister reasons, such as posting messages
that violate the Forum policy. We do not condone that abuse (neither
do operators of most anonymizer services). To protect the Forum from abuse, we will block
access to any anonymizer service that we suspect to be used for such
purposes, then file a complaint as appropriate.
The Alternative Solution
Walk softly and carry a big stick
For the most part, the management of TFC Commodity Charts does not play a
direct role in enforcing these guidelines. Unfortunately, we do
occassionally feel obliged to take measures to protect the Forum from abuse.
These measures include:
- Removal of offensive messages
- 24 hour suspension of user from accessing the Forum
- Long-term or permanent banning of user from the Forum and Chat Room
- Notifying the Network Administrators of the abuse. Online abuse can be
in violation of the "Acceptable Usage Policies" of ISPs, and can
result in a banning from access to the Internet (through that service).
About "Off Topic" Posts
All work and no play makes Jack a dull (and miserable) boy
It might be just my opinion, but I do not believe that the Forum should
be a "dry" and dull place reserved for the discussion of trading
techniques and market movements. Sure, we work ... but we all need to play a
bit as well! I think that off-topic messages add to the
The problem with off-topic messages is that the serious
questions, and the responding words of wisdom can get lost in the
For that reason, the community has developed the practice of putting the
letters "NTR" in the subject of every message that is not
on-topic. Those letters will tell you that the message is "Not
Trading Related ... if you are looking for trading "gems
of advice", you won't find it there. More likely the message will be
part of the community chatter, or perhaps a good joke shared by a fellow
trader. If you post an off-topic message, please put the letters NTR
at the start of the subject, to return this courtesy.
Note that off-topic messages may be removed at the discretion of the site
management ... especially if they are of a personal nature or so numerous
that they are distracting from the topic of the Forum.
"Off topic" can be great, but sometimes enough is enough
As mentioned earlier, off-topic posts are a welcome and necessary part of
the Forum community. BUT ... I think everyone would agree that there is a limit
to the sorts of "off-topic" posts that are welcome. In general, nonsense
and annoyance posts are not welcome or necessary and might be removed.
Although we'll make efforts to avoid any extreme action, anyone repeatedly posting such messages might be barred from
What To Do About Abuse
First, do no harm
If someone posts a message that offends these guidelines, or your own
sensitivities, please do not reply to it in the Forum. All too often,
somebody will post a message that others find abrasive ... they then post
replies to the offending posting ... which provokes a series of replies ...
and then a flood of replies to the replies. The Forum quickly becomes
consumed by the single topic (which, ironically is the offensive topic that
started the issue.
The best way to help the forum is:
- Publicly ignore the post. Do not post a reply in the Forum.
- Send the person responsible an e-mail. Let them know what you think.
- If you believe it necessary, send an email to the abuse mailbox (I should warn
that we cannot directly reply to all "abuse" messages, but can assure
you that all such messages are promptly acted upon)
- For the sake of the Forum, start a new topic ... be a leader ... draw
attention away from the problem.
Are You Being Persecuted by the Forum Management?
When it doesn't seem fair ...
If it seems that the Forum policy hasn't been fairly applied, you could well
be right. We are far from infallible and very far from perfect. If our
response to your post doesn't seem fair or just, please understand that we
are just regular people ... trying to do our job as well as we can. We work
within our human limitations that can make our judgement inconsistent, and
within time constraints that can prevent us from reading every post. A
complaint we often hear goes something like "So-and-so said this-n-that,
which was much worse than my post, but you didn't do anything about it".
Well, you might be right - we might have missed his/her post or been
inconsistent in our judgement (or we might have taken action of which you
are unaware). We confess; we are human. Although we strive
to apply Forum policy evenly ... we will inevitably fail.
Thank you for helping make the Traders' Forum a safe community!
Mike Ritchie, webmaster
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