Online boylove community
The online boylove community is a term generally used to apply to those boylovers who interact with other boylovers via Internet, either on the World Wide Web or through other media such as chat or Internet streaming radio. It may be seen as a subset of the larger boylove community throughout the world.
Because of the intense persecution of boylovers and because of the greater anonymity offered by the Internet, many boylovers feel more comfortable finding friends and confidants online than in real life. As such, the online boylove community has prospered over the last few decades, giving birth to some very central places in the minds and hearts of many of the participants.
One of the most popular ways to participate in the online boylove community is through message boards (also known as Bulletin Board System-style, or BBS-style, forums). These are websites (for example, BoyChat) in which posters write messages to one another. The messages remain available for long periods of time while other posters read and respond to them.
Another common way of interacting with the online community is via real-time chat services such as that offered by websites such as LifeLine, instant messaging services, and IRC. These communities have the advantage of permitting instant response and reaction to one's communications, with the disadvantage of being fleetingly ephemeral with regards to their content. IRC, along with Usenet, was the core of the online BL community before the rise in popularity of BL message boards.
Usenet, often simply referred to as "newsgroups", was arguably the birthplace of the Online BL community and remains a very large part of it. IRC was also a spawning ground of the movement as we know it today, but USENET came first and probably had a much larger user base. Newsgroups are essentially threaded collections of messages similar to email. The messages are formatted according the NNTP protocol. Usenet is typically accessed with a specialized "newsreader" although some HTTP sites allow web access to some groups.
alt.support.boylover was a very popular newsgroup in the early and mid 1990s and was probably the inspiration for BoyChat and resultant popularity of web-based message boards. The group still exists today but sees very little traffic.
Boylove content on Usenet today is typically centered around collections of media. Photographs and video files are shared in certain newsgroups. Child pornography involving nude boys and boys in graphic sexual settings is readily available in addition to content in groups that offer media of a more legal nature.