In this essay, I want to discuss ethics and norms in digital life by doing a virtual ethnography of some of the sites of YouTubers who have performed other religious rituals to invite sympathy and empathy from their subscribers for revenue. This phenomenon was carried out when approaching the month of Ramadhan; YouTubers saw that, for their rating, they needed to do something that would captivate the hearts of their millions of viewers.
One of the activities is fasting. So, fasting for the sake of content that’s roughly the correct term when you see non-Muslim YouTubers struggling with hunger and drinking.
Of course, the above will invite a lot of sympathy and empathy from his followers, that there is a problem of tolerance and mutual respect. Fasting is a matter of worship for Muslims who have a process of faith in Allah as the primary condition for fasting.
Therefore, fasting is also not to be shown off because this worship is only known by Allah alone. Thus, the concept of fasting for content is an act of misdirection behind the words tolerance and mutual respect.
Many subscribers think that non-Muslim fasting is an attitude of respect because their idol has become their role model in cyberspace.
Carrying out other religious services in pursuit of revenue is far from being ethical. Even showing how they struggle during fasting.
This behavior is not measured from the permissible level or not but from the perspective of norms and ethics. When conduct is deemed worthy of acceptance and is considered normal, new standards of ethics and norms will be attached to the behavior.
Practicing other religions for the sake of business is something that is not appropriate and appropriate. The YouTube platform is a business platform, not a religious platform. Using religious content on YouTube is not prohibited because the YouTube algorithm will not consider it permissible or not. Algorithms do not recognize feelings, norms, and ethics.
The algorithm only likes the number of clicks, likes, and shares, which shows the “quality of content,” It generates a lot of ads and results from CPM. That’s all the YouTube platform knows.
I certainly will not do other religious worship for the sake of content. The rest are humans who use their common sense and conscience to make every content, not hurt other people’s feelings. Worship is a private matter, not a public affair.
Respect and sympathy do not necessarily have to go through. It is inappropriate to say proud or take pains for content, practicing other religions.
Because this is in the virtual world, the issue of digital social ethics has not been discussed much. The level of appropriateness and feasibility is seen from the intentions and goals of content in cyberspace.
Religious content is indeed in great demand by netizens. YouTube understands how this content is overgrowing, at least in Indonesia. In YouTube’s “terms and conditions,” there are no clear ethical standards and norms for content from worshiping other religions for revenue or advertising.
YouTube still considers public issues in harassment, sexuality, terrorism, and content that, according to YouTube, should not be displayed on their platform.
As long as people are happy, the content will be watched, and YouTube understands this industry. For this reason, it is not possible to prohibit a non-Muslim YouTuber from performing Islamic religious worship for the sake of their content.
Therefore, the audience needs to be enlightened about ethical standards and norms and how to anticipate when behavior is permissible and reasonable, but there are theological problems in principle.