A flood of salacious messages and ‘hot’ offers delivered via SMS has offended many BSNL subscribers across Madhya Pradesh, but the state-run telephony says it is investigating what is possibly a conspiracy by hackers to embarrass the company.
The risqué SMSes provide hotlinks to “seductive and spicy” videos and websites that show the BSNL logo next to sensuous photos, embarrassing the company at a time when the government briefly banned pornography amid public outrage.
Many BSNL subscribers complain their children are being exposed to obscenity on their phones.
"On one side, the central government is trying to ban child porn sites but on the other, they are promoting obscenity through mobile phones among youngsters,” Sadhna Kushwaha, a resident of Bhopal, told Hindustan Times.
"I received a message on my mobile. The message read 'Sunny Leone rich new sexy avatar! Catch her sensuality now'. 'Download hot and sexy videos of sizzling hotties in bikini!! Just click and accept'. Each of the messages was followed by a link (to a) website.”But BSNL authorities denied that they allow companies to send out such salacious SMSes on its network."
"It can't be possible. Being a central government's company, we have a social responsibility too,” said GC Pandey, chief general manager of BSNL, MP and Chhattisgarh.
“If subscribers are getting such messages, it could be a conspiracy of someone. I will take action against it."
To be fair, many private telecom networks, which are increasingly seeing their revenue grow on the back of data services, distribute paid adult content and chat/friendship services to its subscribers.
Many BSNL clients in the state asked the company to take immediate action to stop the distribution of such messages.
“The Centre should also take strict action to ban such circulation of obscene messages," Mini Sharma, a resident of Tulsi Nagar in Bhopal, said.
"My mother asked me to get a BSNL SIM card because she thinks the private operators often send such links, which offer obscenity and charge unnecessary money. But I was aghast to get such messages on my BSNL number."