The Tom problem lies at the opposite end of the spectrum. Some of us may be lonely, but we're not this lonely.
As of the writing of this article, supposed head of MySpace Tom Anderson has about 215 Million friends. This includes you, if you have a MySpace account. On MySpace, Tom is like Windows Vista: He comes pre-installed. He automatically declares himself your MySpace friend upon sign up, presumably to avoid the sad, "You have 0 friends" situation.
Though, if you want a good illustration of just how little it means to be a MySpace "friend," give Tom a call and ask if you can borrow some money. Of course, there is some dispute over whether Tom even works there any more, or if he is just a corporate mascot like Ronald McDonald.
We could ignore all of this, if Tom would let us. Instead he bombards us with mass announcements, usually explaining the most recent outage or glitch. Add this to the irritation that Tom, who supposedly holds a bachelor's in English and Rhetoric and a master's degree in film, demeans himself by using lame Internet lingo.
The Tom Filter (patent pending) takes care of problems on multiple fronts. First, any online friend of yours who has unwittingly kept Tom as a friend or, even worse, who thinks it's somehow cool to be his friend will be automatically removed permanently from your friends list. This is a full-on boycott, here, and we have to take a hard line.
Second, the Tom Filter would eliminate, or at least modify and make readable, all of his little announcements where he's been known to use extremely poor grammar, spelling and blatant use of "lol" to tell you about problems with the website or to advertise upcoming movies that are at the moment paying for his fourth party yacht.
Last summer MySpace found 29,000 freaking convicted sex offenders among its members. Holy shit. That's almost enough sex offenders to fill up Wrigley Field, as if they had some kind of special promotion or something that day.
It's no wonder; you have an open environment where predators can browse around profiles of, say, 13- year-olds claiming to be 18 and them narrow down which ones are in driving range. It got so bad that you couldn't go down a single school bus stop without seeing hordes of concerned parents look side-to-side suspiciously while simultaneously checking their children's Internet Explorer history.
The solution provides a simple clickable button that would alert Tom (yes, actually wake him from sleep) that a friend request is from a very shady person, based on the premise that child molesters are often not all that hard to spot.