The Internet is a global system of computer networks which are interconnected to form the world's largest computer network. The Internet has roots in the 1960's United States Department of Defense ARPANET project. After the establishment of ARPANET in 1969, universities and educational institutions began joining the network from 1970 on, and several of the large information networks adopted the TCP/IP network stack and merged to form "the Internet" around the early 1980's. Throughout the 80's, the Internet grew steadily but after it was opened for commercial interest in the early 1990's, it experienced the beginning of rapid growth which continues to this day. Currently the most popular services provided over the Internet are the World Wide Web, an interlaced structure of documents connected by hyperlinks, and email, which lets people send and receive electronic mail quickly and conveniently. The Internet has no central governing body, which makes it famous for being the world's biggest arena for free speech.
The Internet and boylove
The Internet has become extremely important to the boylove community in the past decade because of the opportunity for freedom of association. This has given room for many boylove communities, including but not limited to the following:
- Usenet's alt.fan.teen-idols and alt.support.boy-lovers
- IRC's #afti, #bl, and #blsupport
- Acolyte's Free Spirits FTP photo archive
- The first boylove-focused websites such as the European Boy Love Homepage and Kasper's Free Spirits sites
- The subsequent creation of the first Web-based BL message board, BoyChat
- The BL-related site index BoyLinks
- The various related personal and community websites
- The free BL webhosting services FPC and Dare To Speak, and even
- LifeLine, a chat room designed to support depressed or suicidal childlovers
Such communities have allowed boylovers to avoid living in isolation and have given them the opportunity to have daily contact and discuss boylove-related issues with thousands of other boylovers in dozens of languages.