Welcome to the TFC Commodity Trading Forum.
Please feel welcome to join in on these informative ongoing discussions about trading futures and commodities.

The Trading Forum is intended for the open discussion of commodities trading. The management of this Forum does not agree or disagree with the ideas exchanged, and does not exert editorial control over the message posted herein. Read and post at your own risk. The risk of loss in trading or commodities can be substantial. We discourage the use of this Forum to promote trading that is acknowledged to be risky. Please note: many links from the Forum lead to pages on other web sites. We cannot take responsibility for nor endorse the information presented on those sites.
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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 behavior are unacceptable in the Traders' Forum:

  • Advertising
    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.
  • Contentious Off-Topic and/or Partisan Political Posts
    Friendly debate about trading is strongly encouraged, and friendly off-topic conversation is welcome. However, off-topic posts of a contentious nature, including partisan political posts are not welcome. Posts of that sort derail the intent of this forum: to be a friendly venue where traders can discuss trading and have a virtual place to hang out with friends. For that reason posts of this nature are subject to removal without notice.
  • 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 Forum access.
  • Slander
    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.
  • Hoaxes
    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 community.

The problem with off-topic messages is that the serious questions, and the responding words of wisdom can get lost in the "noise".

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.

Annoyance Posts

"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 the Forum.

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