Close Encounters

From BoyWiki

Close Encounters (or CE) was designed to be a meeting place for boylovers and people not attracted to boys to discuss many issues related to emotional, romantic, and sexual relationships between boys and older people. It opened for business on 19 November, 1999 and shut down on 29 September 2000.


Hooked had tried to open dialogue about boylove on other message boards, primarily sexual recovery forums, but found that such topics were not welcome there. So he came up with the idea of Close Encounters as an independent board for discussion between boylovers and non-boylovers, and asked Heather Elizabeth Peterson to help out as co-webmaster. Others were asked to serve as moderators in an attempt to keep the CE Committee fairly balanced between boylovers and non-boylovers.

Close Encounters was originally intended as a dialogue board and not a debate board. The mission statement said in part: "The purpose of Close Encounters is to engage in dialogue, not exchange insults. If a person repeatedly posts insulting messages to other members, he may be subject to a ban from the forum." The community also had a rule stating: "Close Encounters forbids all forms of insult, including personal insults, vulgar language, and overt sarcasm."

In January 2000, Heather proposed that a second board be started where the only rules would be related to security. Originally named CE Free, this new board was later renamed Crossroads. There was also a metaboard, CE Comments, that served both Close Encounters and Crossroads.

One problem that Close Encounters constantly faced was that opponents of boylove didn't want to participate as forum moderators. In addition, it was unclear whether the security procedures of CE would allow them to. Often they were child advocates who were trying to track down the locations of boylovers. The team of moderators ended up being composed of boylovers and sympathizers, which created an unfortunate imbalance that never was truly corrected.

Hooked eventually resigned as webmaster, and Heather took his place but she soon resigned as well for health reasons, leaving Close Encounters without a leader. Moderators from Close Encounters and Crossroads showed no interest in being webmaster, which left security concerns because of staff shortages. Reluctantly, Heather proposed that CE be shut down and 29 September 2000 was Close Encounters's last day of operation.

In late 2001, a former moderator of CE began work on a Close Encounters Digest which reflected the board's more important or productive posts during its existence.

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