My mum keeps getting them from a work 'friend'. Generally along the lines of 'You have just been hugged! Send this message back to me and at least 10 other people and you will be loved. Let me know you care!'
Who starts these messages? I really don't believe that any regular person would spontaneously decide to write one of these out and send it to all of their mates, hoping for a reply. Is anyone that desperate or narcissistic? Obvious answer is yes.
But what i reckon is that mobile phone companies have hundreds of mock phones constantly sending these texts out to random numbers from their directory in order to generate business for themselves. After all it only takes one gullible twat to send it off and they make a couple of quid, times that by a few hundred thousand twats and you've got a business. Sounds possible, maybe? Maybe its the lamest conspiracy theory in history