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If a person creates/contributes in creation of a social media/network. Is he responsible/questionable of the user-activity? Does niyyah/intention play a role?

For example; lets imagine "x" was created by a person/team, "x" permits halal-haram content. Is the creator of "x" responsible for the haram content. Does the creator/contributor have a share in the haram(sin), the user shared/posted on "x" ? As it is prohibited to cooperate in sin:

.......cooperate with one another in goodness and righteousness, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is severe in punishment. [5:2]

"x" could also be created for a client.

This is a generalized question, and is often asked by application/website developers.

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In Islam, your actions are judged by your intentions.

Sahih Muslim 1907a:

(The value of) an action depends on the intention behind it. A man will be rewarded only for what he intended. The emigration of one who emigrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) is for the sake of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) ; and the emigration of one who emigrates for gaining a worldly advantage or for marrying a woman is for what he has emigrated.

If you're creating a social media/network with halal intentions and the content you genuinely plan on hosting will be halal inshallah, then it should be ok to continue with creating that social media. But, if that social media ends up being a major source of haram or you believe there is a risk of it being used for haram (ex. pornography, etc), then one should leave it, shut it down, and/or remove and prevent the haram in it.

Person x

In regards to your example question about person x, person x would be doing haram by allowing haram content onto the platform that they created and own regardless of their intention. Only what is halal, permissible, should be allowed and promoted on the social network.

My advice to you is to put software and moderators to enforce banning of haram content (You control the algorithm after all) if any were to be posted onto your site and market your social network as a halal product. So if you really want to create a social media/network, come up with an idea that cannot be easily exploited for haram purposes, implement measures to ban and prevent haram on the platform, and always be conscious of Allah.

In regards to a web developer making a product for a client

If there is no suspicion that the client will be using it for haram purposes then there should be no issue with the developer making it. In times like this, there are hadiths that support silence (meaning not diving deep into a matter) in instances like this.

Sahih al-Bukhari 5507:

A group of people said to the Prophet, "Some people bring us meat and we do not know whether they have mentioned Allah's Name or not on slaughtering the animal." He said, "Mention Allah's Name on it and eat." Those people had embraced Islam recently.

As you can see in this hadith, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) didn't command them to go ask those people if they mentioned Allah's name when slaughtering the animal nor did he forbid them from eating it. Same thing in business, whether it be making a cake for someone or a web application for a client, don't assume the haram immediately. But if you're suspicious of this client, it always good to avoid doubt by either clarifying your concerns or choosing not to do business with them.

Sunan an-Nasa'i 5711 (Sahih)

"I said to Al-Hasan bin 'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him: 'What did you memorize from the Messenger of Allah [SAW]?' He said: I memorized from him: 'Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.'"

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  • This is a good start at an answer, but ideally for a canonical answer to a generalized question it should be made clear whether this is a mainstream interpretation or if there's any difference of opinion among the fuqaha. It can be difficult for a layman to tell the difference between a personal opinion, a controversial opinion or a mainstream opinion when an answer relies on only primary sources as evidence.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Oct 7, 2022 at 3:29
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Yes, the developer(s) or X is/are responsible for the client/user activites as the developers has the control over the activities because they can monitor and delete/suspend user activities. And X will be sinned everytime a user posts haram content to the platform and X lets it stay there, because X could not post that if he had not made the platform. X should regularly check for haram content in his app/website.

I would like to give an example to make you understand the importance of intention. If you make make a house for a guy and he starts selling wine without letting you know, would you be sinful? No, because you did not make the house for him to do such things. So, intention matters.

So if the developers make the app or website with good intention, they won't be sinned for it.

In order to make the application or website halal, the developers must prohibit impermissible things in their terms of service or usage rules and the developers should actively monitor the media or tell someone else to moderate.

And when the developer X is making a app/website for a client, he should ask the client if he is going to use the platform to commit sins. If he is going to commit sin then don't make app/website for him. Or else you will be sinned for everytime the client commits a sin by using the app. And if you are making a web or app where people will post things, you need to tell and teach the client who was helped by you to make app to moderate on the app.

In Shaa Allah, the developers won't be sinned. Allah knows the best.

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  • Well answered however it would be better to add someone citation from Qur'an and Hadith and some verdicts of scholars and fatwa-sites.
    – AbduRahman
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 16:21
  • Well, the respected person who has answered before me has cited from Hadith and I think those are enough, and that's why I did not cite anything else. And yeah, thanks for reading my answer.
    – LEGEND
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 18:39

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