Ms. Thompson belongs to a fringe of Internet users now renouncing MySpace and other social-networking sites — not in spite of their popularity, but because of it. That highlights a dilemma facing News Corp.’s MySpace and Facebook Inc.: While it takes a critical mass of users to make these sites work, having too many users alienates some, especially when they attract an ever-growing cacophony of advertising and in some cases, spam.
There’s no question, however, that MySpace’s recent popularity has brought with it a proliferation of spam that has annoyed some users. Many advertisers take advantage of the “friend request” function and send out requests that are really just advertisements. And programs have cropped up that can automatically send mass friend requests to MySpace users — in short, a new generation of email spam.