M. Rizqi Akbar, Jakarta – Social media have a very important role in today's life. Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) on May 13, 2017, had issued an edict or fatwa concerning laws and guidelines to use social networking sites responsibly following rampant hoaxes, defamation, blasphemy, and hate of speech related to SARA (ethnicity, religion, and race).
The council's fatwa for the public, particularly Muslims, regulates many issues related to social relations between humans from creating content to verifying circulated information, in order to combat or prevent negative content from spreading.
As quoted from the council's page mui.or.id, Muslims using social sites are obliged to improve faith and not encourage activities leading to sins, as well as strengthen brotherhood and harmony.
Muslims are barred from gossiping (ghibah), slandering, tale-bearing (namimah), promoting hate based on ethnicity, religion, race, and inter-group relations (SARA), bullying, uttering hate speech, spreading hoaxes, pornography, and seeking information about people's shortcomings.
The fatwa also forbids buzzer activities that spread defamation hoaxes, and gossips, promote bullying, and others as ways to gain profit.
Additionally, when receiving information, Muslims are barred from sharing it on social sites before carrying out tabayyun or verifying it and ascertaining its benefits.
With this MUI fatwa, it is hoped that Muslims could acknowledge and understand the ethics of using social media that promotes goodness and prevents evil or misconduct.