I wouldn't really consider someone you haven't met in person a friend. You can talk to people on the internet, but it is different meeting them in person. Just because you know things about them (likes, dislikes, etc.) from what they have said online, doesn't mean you know them. People can have the same traits.
I certainly think you can be friends over the internet. I had a little group of friends online not too long ago. We all met through a new wrestling discussion show this guy was doing and we were the only ones to turn up when it first started.
It did break down a bit eventually but I'm still friends with two of the people I met there.
there this guy i know he has bean my best internet budy fo the last 5 years we talk via aim allmost evry week
we talk about wrestling power rangers movies amrican football and other stuff his name is chris and his a true freaind.
You can make friends anywhere you want, for people taht may be socially awkward the internet is a great place to do so, it is a different age we live in now and definitions of things frmo 20 years ago are not the same now