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Regarding Security

By the same token, this same image hosting loophole allows vandals and miscreants to register pretending to be a normal user, post an innocuous picture that gets approved by the volunteers, then later change the actual image at the image host to something detrimental to the site, such as gruesome autopsy images, or even child pornography. It could be some time before a moderator catches such a change, as there's no change that shows up in the board logs. Thus, a quandary arises: since many of the forums are alleged to exist for the purposes of image trading, the caution to turn off images serves to diminish the value of those forums considerably for so long as offsite image hosting is allowed. The problem could be substantially resolved if the board provided onsite, moderated hosting, but that suggestion always falls on deaf ears, making some wonder how deep the concern for safety actually is.

(Within the last couple of years, another alternative has arisen, in that the board could force members to use a single free hosting service, such as, that allows individual, uneditable uploads. Since this providers would not allow images to be altered once uploaded, this would also close the loophole, assuming the original image posting is still subject to approval by moderators.) --Afin 08:31, 14 September 2005 (EDT)

Does this practice have a name? If so, would you write a short article about it and link it in-line at the BLN article? If not, we might try to think of a name. "Link framing" springs to mind, since the perpetrator is "framing" BLN for a crime through a link.--Asch 21:23, 14 September 2005 (EDT)
Doh -- just saw you on the curator list. As a curator you hardly need be reminded to write articles... :) --Asch 21:47, 14 September 2005 (EDT)

It's a form of trojan linking, but I'm not sure that really needs to be covered in a separate article. Does it? It seems very tangential to BWiki's primary focus. Also, on another security-related note, UBB boards are known to allow private, restricted areas. That is an additional risk factor to be assessed when considering joining. --Afin 01:25, 15 September 2005 (EDT)

Afin - that image switching thing is a theoretical danger - I've never seen it happen in all my years I've spent at It's like security holes in internet explorer - some are big - like the employment of ActiveX - and some are very small. It's not worth being overly concerned over things that don't have enough of a danger about them, to warrant it. We are human. We can't go about wearing metal plate armor because we live in a more unstable part of town. If that first paragraph, is indeed yours, I can tell you that you talk as an outsider with peripheral observation, rather than an in depth hands on understanding of how things actually occur in real life experience. An article on boywiki is not the place to be badmouthing other boylove communities. -- Marc 22:10, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
External image linking is an incredible security risk. I don't think this is in dispute. admin have a known history of handwaving security concerns. It is not "badmouthing" other resources to say "these are security issues you should be aware of before visiting." It simply allows others to make their own judgement about their security and be prepared before they visit. --Hínandil 22:44, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
Well, this is the first article I have passionately thought that I might contribute to, but seeing as I have the owner of the board saying he doesn't want me to do so... who knows? I could have spent all this time writing the article about - I know the board like the back of my hand. I have been immersed in it. I suggest that there should be an article written about concerns, which specifically relate to ubb software. And then, there can be a link from here to that article. It's not fair to color the whole tenor of the article about with a prejudicial attitude. I understand that you're concerned about the safety of those who read what you write - that's a very valid concern. But it can be dealt with, in a more polite manner, in the article. -- Marc 23:11, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
Yes, the article needs a lot of work and I've said as much in comments further below. But external images are not a generic UBB problem. They are a configurable feature and's configuration merits mention in the article--preferably as a link to a security article but they don't yet exist here. I don't see where I told you not to contribute to the article. But I do expect contributors to neither overhype nor make excuses for poor security configuration. --Hínandil 23:55, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
I'm somewhat new to wiki writing. With bulletin boards, you have to jump right into a conversation, the moment that it is proposed. With wiki writing, of course, one can't be editing at the very instant as someone else. You kind of have to let the other person fill out the article to a point, where it has some cohesiveness, and then, if you can improve it from there, after a couple days of downtime, you can. Perhaps that was the nature of my impropriety, yesterday... Sorry. --Marc 22:32, 22 September 2005 (EDT)
But look what happened: three reverts and then it was taken to this talk page. Exchanges were heated but didn't harm the article. Others took notice, and a third party made changes to help tone down the article while still representing differing points of view. Everyone calmed down, and you decided to take a break and come back fresh. And now you learned how wikis are different than message boards (not as fleeting, for one). Aside from security concerns and server downtime, there is a lot of history about that could be mentioned in the article. I hope you'll come back and share some of that with us. All in all, I'm proud of everyone who respected BoyWiki enough to fight here and not in the article. This is how wikis should work. --Hínandil 22:56, 22 September 2005 (EDT)


Somebody knowledgable should probably write about BLN's downtime (last year if I remember correctly), as that seems like a fairly significant event in its history. Clayboy 17:22, 21 September 2005 (EDT)

Appearance of endorsement

Hey guys, the way this article is written now it looks like we're endorsing these guys. I've added just a couple small comments attempting to make clear that is dangerous. Jim 18:15, 21 September 2005 (EDT)

I reverted your changes to the Mission Statement section because you changed quoted text. What needs to happen is that a new section is started talking about the very real security concerns that the board raises. I would also like to see the Mission Statement section rewritten. I don't like having quoted text in the article at all (but until it's replaced, it stays verbatim). --Hínandil 19:38, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
OK, I'll just put it right under the mission statement so that people reading it will not tend to think that WE are saying that BL.Net is safe. That's what I thought when I read it.
Why do we have their mission statement on our site, anyway? Jim 19:42, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
Jim, we have their mission statement on our site because somebody put it there. I don't think it is out of place--it is very clearly a quote from their site. The "Security" section directly above the mission statement was a better place for your comments and in fact it already warned against external images. --Hínandil 22:44, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
Dear Jim, a wiki is - by definition - of the ownership of the public - anybody who has written it. Freespirits, as I understand, hosts and support this wiki, financially. But the writers are those who create the resource. I am also a contributor to this wiki, and I am very much in support of what is doing. I have spent years there immersed in that community. I believe that this article ought not to be written from a perspective of an outsider's uneducated perspective - but instead the article ought to tell what life is like in that community from the perspective of those who have participated there Marc 20:29, 22 September 2005 (EDT)
Marc, you are correct in saying that it is the writers who make this resource. If you want the article to show what life is like inside the community, it's up to you, or someone like you, to write that part. I'd be interested in reading it, too. --Afin 18:29, 5 October 2005 (EDT)
Afin what is a wiki? A wiki is like a little valley where people start settling, to form a community. Well, what if a person of Arab descent vacations in that village, thinking that he might move there - and he hears people talking about muslims and the middle east as being the source of the world's terrorism problems. If he grew up in Saudi, or in Pakistan, or in Egypt, or elsewhere in the area, he knows his background, he knows his culture, he knows that the way people talk in that small village reflects an outsider's skewed perspective. But, does he feel welcome in that village, and does he want to settle there? The answer is no. In the same way, if the management and the writers here at boywiki say that they have to draw up sides and say that one bulletin board is bad, and the other is good, will those from those bulletin boards which are deemed bad, want to invest the time and energy in building themselves a life here? The answer is no.
Now, to qualify this, I think that the social chemistry at this wiki, or any wiki will develop to where there is an even keel, and people are accepted - and their origins are accepted. Writing is a big investment of time for anybody. It takes hours upon hours. I don't feel obliged to offer that investment here, if the community which has nurtured me is set at nought here. Marc 01:31, 6 October 2005 (EDT)

Mark, I'm not sure who you are, but you should be aware that the seizure of BL.Net's servers is not a rumor. While the admin went to some links to hush it up, the seizure is unfortunately a fact. Jimf3 20:18, 22 September 2005 (EDT)

Dear Jim3, I have been a member at under this same user name - marc - since 2002... That is the internet community in which I have spent the most time, over the years... There was a panic about the servers having been seized by law enforcement last winter. However, it was recognized eventually that it was an offhanded comment by the isp who hosted the site, which was misinterpreted by the management... My impression is that the ISP had apparently interviewed with law enforcement who were curious, but that no legal action was taken. The ISP got spooked and was dropped from their client list. Marc 20:24, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
Marc, I very much doubt that that's true. One of the leaders of BL.Net posted in rather extensive detail about the server seizure at one point, even indicating which branch of law enforcement had the machine/machines in its possession. It would seem beyond odd that such detailed information would later be found to be untrue. Given's very unfortunate attitude toward security, it would not be hard to believe that they would want to later downplay what happened.
And the article as written before my comments seemed like a very rosy endorsement of That would be an odd position for Free Spirits to take, given the overwhelming opinion of BoyChat participants that leaves much to be desired in terms of being realistic about security.
I don't think it's wrong for to have a mention here but if it does, then surely our views of's serious security problems need to be given some prominent space. Jimf3 20:43, 22 September 2005
I'm sorry, my friend. Facts are not debatable. And your opinions do not qualify as facts. This wiki is a resource which needs to be accurate. If you have concerns about bulletin board safety, please write a separate article, detailing the mechanics and administrative issues of different popular bulletin board software suites. Elaborate there on your theories of what is and what isn't appropriate for childlove bulletin boards. Yes, the admins were convinced of a severe problem... but eventually, it was understood that the problem was lesser than was imagined. - Marc 20:56, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
Mark, it is a fact, and an undisputed fact at that, that administrators at do not take proper security precautions and that they poo poo people who warm them about their problems. I know that because I'm one of the people who has provided warnings and advice about how to take simple steps to keep things safe.
The fact that they know what the dangers are - have had those dangers explained by many people - and that they choose to do nothing is very disturbing.
And that's a fact - not an opinion. Jimf3 21:20, 22 September 2005 (EDT)
"An undisputed fact" is it? How many people do you know who would agree with you about this? This is a boychat-specific perspective. Boychat has it's own guidelines - both for what is posted, and how the bulletin board is administered. There's a word which I believe fits very well for your feelings about That is "ethnocentric". If they don't do things the way you do things at boychat, you believe that they do things wrongly.
Boylover net has really advanced the cause of the childlove internet movement. It is a place where the actual dream which we have, can be partly realized. We can discuss with eachother, and youth and even children, the issue of pedophilia. This was a very historic advance in the movement. They also allow people to think visually, about their affection for children. The decision to allow photos, is a daring move, which will have politically achieved that right for all of us.
Such photos could not be hosted on the server - that is more dangerous, politically for, than having such photos retrieved from elsewhere, on the net.
The only thing I've heard of that is a danger with outside photos, is IP harvesting. There's nothing anybody can do with those numbers, in reality. They can find the physical location of people. But there is no way that they can attach an ip with a user name. There is no way for them to find personal details about that individual. Many curious souls have browsed for a short time, and their presence would, of course, be mixed in with the batch. Government agencies may be able to research the identity of people through their ip's - but citizens cannot. That board is extremely busy - at least a hundred people at any given moment of the day are browsing there. There is safety in numbers.
Yes, there are other ways in which the UBB software is insecure - moderators can see IP addresses, for instance. However, the real risk is not from writing at - it's from actions taken outside the board. Never, in the years I've shared my thoughts there, have I heard of anyone being found out through some esoteric technical means. It has occasionally occurred through misplaced trust of people they met there. -- Marc 22:22, 21 September 2005 (EDT)
It is a matter of public record that the administrators at have stated that the servers were seized by the FBI. If this is not true, we need to hear it from them. Since then, one in particular has said that he doesn't know where the servers are and that he doesn't care. It is clear that there is a lack of concern for security and safety compared to the standard that Free Spirits has. This is okay--everyone chooses what precautions he is willing ot take, but it is important for people to know about things like external image linking so they have the opportunity to visit through an onion proxy or with images disabled, or even disagree that it's a serious risk.
I agree with Jimf3--the admin at have been at times even hostile to suggestions that security might be a problem. This article is in serious need of a rewrite, but information should be presented neutrally and not suppressed for political reasons.
I do want to thank the two of you for bringing this to the talk page before it became an edit war. I'm confident that you will show as much reason in helping to edit the article. --Hínandil 22:44, 21 September 2005 (EDT)

I'm probably far too tired to be writing a message like this, but here it goes...

First, your main beef is the fact that members are allowed to host and use their own images within their signatures. Can you please provide me of a single reference where someone has been charged or even investigated because they were browsing a message board, and one of the thousands of members on that board used an illegal picture in their signature? The one problem with BoyChat is that you're far too paranoid for your own good.

Yes, BLnet allows its members to host and use their own images. Has this ever caused a major problem? No, not once. Every once in a while there is a minor problem with this, but all in all, there is no problem whatsoever. I'd also like to say, take the amount of resources available to moderate BoyChat, times that by at least 10, and you have the moderation resources of BLnet. From my experience, BLnet has a great deal more moderators and resources to manage the board.

The next thing you talk about is the server "seizure" that happened well over a year ago. There has not once been any actual confirmation on these seizure, as the previous web hosting company completely ignored all communication from BLnet (I could be wrong about this). Instead, it's very highly likely that the previous web host simply pulled the plug, and said the server had been seized to ensure they didn't get themselves in legal trouble by violating their own Terms of Service. Besdies, if the server was actually seized by law enforcement, we would have seen dozens of articles in the media by now, saying the largest online pedophile ring has been taken down, and whatever else.

All in all, BLnet is perfectly safe. If it wasn't, it wouldn't have lasted this long. Thetes 02:24, 22 September 2005

You do understand that off-site images mean that the guys running the image server are able to tell that you are reading, right? The potential for illegal images is bad, but hardly even relevant in comparison to that. Whenever I read, I make sure to use a proxy like Tor and/or turn off image display in my browser (which is good so I can focus on the discussions instead of the huge images of cute boys ;-). Clayboy 02:24, 22 September 2005 (EDT)

The scope of this article is very clearly biased towards dissuading the the reader from joining and/or participating in I think it's safe to say that the truth about the so-called server seisures still falls under rumor status. The remark about the site administrators "cavalier attitude" could never remotely be considered neutral and has been removed. Jeff04 02:47, 22 September 2004 (EDT)

Let's try working this out

I have edited the article in an attempted first step toward resolving the dispute. I moved all security concerns to the Security section and reformulated them, trying to attain neutral point of view (NPOV). I have tried to retain all the different opinions (even an, IMHO, irrelevant comment about private messages).

Please, read through the article before making edits. Some of the controversy might have been avoided if security concerns were placed in the right section instead of at the top and at the bottom. If I may say so, I do not believe the first version of the article endorsed nor forcefully criticized BLN.

I wish to stress that it is not BoyWiki's mission to be a mouthpiece for Free Spirits. However, the security concerns are widespread and should be noted in any complete and balanced treatment of BLN. These concerns must be expressed in a non-confrontational manner using, as far as possible, NPOV. --Asch 00:37, 22 September 2005 (EDT)

The article has been virtually untouched for almost two weeks. Are the latest rewrites sufficient to remove the marker?
Asch talk to me 20:06, 4 October 2005 (EDT)
It does seem strange how they haven't said anything in a while, nor have they said anything further about the site from the "inside" point of view. If anyone wants to review some of the discussion from BoyChat at the time this happened, some of the threads were saved in the In The News section of the December, 2004 Digest, here:

Let's leave the marker in place for a while longer. In the meantime, I disagree with the decision to remove the concern over private messaging, which I think should not only be stated but also extended to mention private boards. I also find disingenuous the claim that IP addresses are useless to non-LEO. If you're coming from an IP that resolves to room29.somedorm.someuniversity, desk3.smallprojectname.somecompany, or somestation.branch.locallibrary, for example, malicious people may try to publicize that and/or contact system administrators for the domain, especially if the logs show that you didn't just hit one or two images, but several images over the course of several days. Sure, people should know better than that, but most people using the internet these days don't know what an IP address is, so you can't expect some newbie to know. This should neither be disregarded nor dismissed as a non-issue. Even if in practice the actual exploitation of this is rare, it makes sense to either close the hole or warn people that it's known but left open. Since we know about it, we have that obligation to mention it. I would expect anyone who knows of security issues with BoyChat to make the administrators aware, and if they have chosen not to act, to warn others, also. --Afin 17:30, 5 October 2005 (EDT)
I had trouble understanding why PMs would be more dangerous than, say, e-mail. But the more I think about it, the more likely it seems that law enforcement and judges would have an excuse to confiscate and search the server when it is directly involved in hypothetically illegal communication. Still, I find it a bit far-fetched that any significant illegal activity would happen there, not to mention be discovered, especially since PMs don't allow attachments. Being ambivalent to the sentence (and rather eager to encourage participation from non-FS members of the community), I won't put it back, but neither will I argue if you do.
Asch talk to me 20:29, 13 October 2005 (EDT)

Removing "factual accuracy" notice.

At this time I feel as if sufficient modifications have been made to the article in order to mark most of the content as accurate and factual. I'd like to remove the notice disputing factual accuracy, but I won't do this without someone else reviewing first in order to make sure that I've not made mistakes or worded things improperly. Thanks. FalseAlias (talk) 02:15, 5 January 2019 (UTC)

If you want to then go ahead. I am unsure what the dispute was that lead to it being tagged, as that was before my time here. I also don't know anything about this topic to be able to judge it's accuracy.--Etenne BLSmileyface.png 15:06, 5 January 2019 (UTC)