Social media is like a knife whose use can be helpful but can also cause harm. Therefore, being wise in social media is a keyword that must always be followed.
Undoubtedly, the development of information and communication technology has provided convenience in communicating and obtaining information in the community. The ease of sharing and receiving data through digital media based on social media can bring benefits to humanity.
For example, it can strengthen friendship ties, generate economic activity through entrepreneurship training or online sales, and facilitate the educational process and other positive activities.
Exchanging information about halal and haram is also often done through social media. For example, regarding the existence of food or beverage products whose halal status is not clear, they are discussed on social media, then confirmed to the Assessment Institute for Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Indonesian Council of Ulama (LPPOM MUI) to obtain answers and confirmation.
LPPOM MUI also utilizes almost all social media platforms to improve public information services to share information, either through direct call centers or through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
However, on the other hand, the use of social media is often not accompanied by responsibility, so it often becomes a means for spreading untrue information, hoaxes, fitnah, ghibah, gossip, namimah, hate speech, hostility, and even for pornographic and action shows.
For example, the content of dancing by showing a woman’s genitals. They deliberately dress casually to increase viewer ratings. This kind of content can freely circulate on social media, such as Instagram or Tiktok.
Some like to spread fake news, aka hoaxes, which eventually trigger a commotion. For purposes that are not clear, they twist a fact or edit an image, then spread it through social media. This action is detrimental to the other party. In Islam, this act is haraam.
To provide guidance for Muslims in muamalah (interacting) on social media, the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) issued Fatwa Number 24 of 20017 concerning Halal Haram associating on Social Media.
There is much evidence in the Qur’an and hadith used as guidelines. Among them is the verse that commands the importance of tabayyun (clarification) when obtaining information. Among other things, Surah Al-Hujurat: 6 means: “O believers, if an evildoer brings you any news, verify ˹it˺, so you do not harm people unknowingly, becoming regretful for what you have done..”
The Prophet’s hadith can also be used as a guideline in social media, which says that speaking should be kind and make it one of the indicators of faith in Allah. This hadith comes from Abi Hurairah radiyallahu’anha, which means: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say good things or remain silent.” (HR. Bukhari and Muslim).
Therefore, in discussing with others, both in real life and on social media, referring to the MUI Fatwa, every Muslim must bear in mind the following things:
Based on faith and purity, virtue (mu’ asyarah bil ma ‘ruf), brotherhood (ukhuwwah), a mutual testament to the truth (al-haqq) as well as inviting to goodness (al-amr bi al-ma’ ruf), and preventing evil (al-nahyu ‘an al-munkar).
- Every Muslim who does muamalah through social media must bear in mind the following things:
- Always level up faith and purity, not encourage disbelief and disobedience.
- Strengthen brotherhood (ukhuwwah), both Islamic brotherhood (ukhuwwah Islamiyyah), national brotherhood (ukhuwwah wathaniyyah), and humanitarian brotherhood (ukhuwwah insaniyyah).
- Strengthen harmony within religious communities, between religious communities, and between religious communities and the Government.
- Every Muslim who speaks through social media is forbidden to do:
- Ghibah, fitnah, namimah, and spread hostility.
- Bullying, hate speech, and hostility on the basis of tribe, religion, race, or between group.
- They are spreading hoaxes and false information even with good intentions, such as information about the death of people still alive.
- They are spreading pornographic material, immorality, and everything prohibited by syar’i.
- It was spreading true content but not appropriate for the place and/or time.
- Producing, disseminating and/or making untrue content/information accessible to the legal community is illegal.
- Producing, disseminating and/or making accessible content/information about hoaxes, ghibah, fitnah, namimah, disgrace, bullying, hate speech, and other similar personal matters to other people and/or legal audiences.
- Looking for information about disgrace, gossip, or ugliness of other people or legal groups is forbidden except for purposes justified by syar’i.
- Producing and/or disseminating content/information to justify what is wrong or blame what is right, building opinions to make it look as if it is prosperous, and the purpose of hiding the truth and deceiving the public is illegal.
- Disseminating personal content to the public, even though the content is known to be inappropriate for distribution to the public, such as poses that show genitalia, is haraam.
- Buzzer activity on social media makes the provision of information containing hoaxes, ghibah, fitnah, namimah, bullying, disgrace, gossip, and other similar things a profession to gain profit, both economic and non-economic, is haraam. Likewise, people who order, support, help and take advantage of services and people who facilitate them.
The things that must be considered in responding to content/information on social media, namely content/information originating from social media, have the possibility of right and wrong. Something good is not necessarily true. What is right is not necessarily helpful, what is useful is not necessarily suitable to be conveyed to the public sphere, and not all accurate content/information is allowed and appropriately disseminated to the public domain.
On the other hand, the Government, in this case, the Ministry of Communication and Information, should act decisively. It is necessary to make a selection of content that contains fighting against each other, hatred of certain groups, and pornography and pornographic actions that can damage mentality and cause a commotion. (Farid MS, Social Media Observer)