Prepared by the researcher : Hicham Lakhlij – Faculty of letters and human sciences –Mohammedia- University Hassan II– Morocco
Democratic Arab Center
Journal of Social Sciences : Twenty-Eighth Issue – June 2023
A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin
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The study aimed to analyse the integration of the religious dimension in the lucrative content creation among the different social media content creators in the Moroccan virtual context and to measure the impact of this integration on the users’ community through a couple of quantitative and qualitative Data gathering methods such as; the deep participatory observation, the semi-directive interviews and the personal investigations with a group of users, content creators and online service sellers. The results have demonstrated a very significant negative impact of the excessive use of the religious dimension in the gainful virtual content creation on the religious capital. This negative impact is the result of a massive misuse of the religious discourse and symbols to achieve financial gain among the young freelancers, especially those who exploit the religious connotation to build and extend their personal business.
Introduction and theoretical background
The last decade has witnessed a significant rise regarding the number of social media users and digital content creators, thanks to the technological advancement which includes open access to smart devices as well as the free use of a couple of social network platforms. According to the Digital 2023 Global overview report (Meltwater, 2023), there are 33.18 million users of Internet in Morocco representing an overall rate of 88.1%. According to the same report the number of Social Media users is 21.30 million reflecting 56.6% of the global population. These numbers impact both the quality and quantity of content and the user digital behaviour on the social media platforms. Conforming to Sunergia survey (Sunergia, 2021) the messaging system Whatsapp is used by 84% of Moroccans. The study showed that nearly 3 out of 4 Moroccans use facebook regularly which represents a usage rate of 57% whereas Instagram is used by 42% of Moroccans while the survey qualifies Tiktok as a potential raising application as it reaches 14% of users in only its very beginnings. Another survey held by (Kepios, 2022) reveals that Youtube platform has 21.40 million advertising consumers in Morocco. The interpretation of these rates links a two-way influence between users/consumers and content creators/freelancers, thus the nature of the presented content should be given a great deal of importance.
Our research interest is focused on the religious content as one of the most consumed types by the Moroccan users who spend a daily rate of 3h31min browsing the Internet, among which 2h25min spent in switching between different Social Media platforms according to (Masterlys, 2021) survey. The interest for religious and spiritual content on social media takes many forms and attracts large age groups knowing that the creation of content has undergone many changes breaking up with the archaic sterile debates to modern innovative and interactive free shows. The creation has become funnier and more attracting to freelancers carrying small digital gadgets and recording every single moment of their daily routines to be revised and rearranged later for online broadcasting. These facilities lead more individuals to seek financial gain on social media platforms by transforming their passion for exploring, photographing, and interacting with others, into a real source of wealth and personal prosperity. In the working field, social media creation has been recognized as a pink-collar job which encourages more young to start their freelance as digital influencers since the required conditions are available for anyone carrying a smartphone and having access to social networking. Religious content orientation takes its advantage from the omnipresence of religion in the social life of Moroccans. Islam has a huge impact on every aspect of daily life, so the religious discourse would be much easier for the creator to attend the mass public as we shall explain later on.
The significant interaction with religious content in social media encourages the influencers to channelize their subject matter toward seeking more innovative ways to increase the visibility of their product by enhancing the type of content that users most interact with. The religious content finds its way to the users for the simple reason that religion possesses the so called ‘soft power control’ over the individuals, thus it can be exploited to build a strong base of followers in the social media platforms. This fact pushes us to question the validity of the representations of religious ethics and perceptions deeply rooted in the Moroccan society and their influence on the modern society when they come to be integrated in the virtual world. A totally legitimated question can be asked in this case; how can religious beliefs and spiritual orientations shape the behaviour of the modern network users and let them consume any content purely or partly animated by a religious dimension? Then, and in another level; through what process do Moroccan influencers achieve the financial gain using the religious emotional stimulation? Finally what are the results and impact of the religious digital integration on the network community?
This study aims to analyse the integration of the religious dimension in the content creation and to test its influence on the users as well as dissociating the factors behind choosing religion as a subject by creators to make money. It is primordial to meticulously examine the techniques of integrating religion in the business show either by enabling the religious discourse or stimulating emotions by creating a sort of harmony between the user’s dogmatic orientation and the content itself, this can lead to understand how the deposits of religious inherited capital affect the individuals and impact their digital consumptive behaviour. Choosing religion as a theme in content creation can also help grasping the new attitudes of individuals toward exploiting cultural heritage in a pragmatic way regardless of taking into account the question of rationality and ethics that remain relative to one’s perception and intentions. Our ultimate goal is to expose the elements that are implicated in both content creation and digital consumption of the religious usage in the Moroccan virtual context.
Overview on previous studies
A couple of previous researches have differently treated the duality between religion and social media. In a recent study on the relationship between young people and the religious matter, Houda krimli (2022) exposes the result of her exploratory sociological study on the challenges of young people’s openness to digital culture and their religious identity. Her major objective to analyse the influence of the digital system as a space for the production of values, leads her to link between the virtual space and its impact on young people’s way of thinking and religious perception through examining the content created by 10 influencers on Facebook in order to know the strategies mobilized to define the religious identity in the virtual world. Her results show that the cultural and symbolic models that are implicated in making the religious identity of young people are intertwined in a virtual system. According to this study it is hard for individuals to build a religious identity knowing that the virtual world is implicated in amplifying self-conflict between individualism and similitude.
Another study fulfilled by Faiza bouzid (2020) treats the question of renewing the religious discourse so that it can accord the technological advances especially in social media. She stresses that the old archaic religious discourse is no longer valid in nowadays context, which is the main reason behind the emerge of a category of new revolutionary preachers whose target is to correct the disequilibrium of the Muslim’s situation regarding religion in the virtual world by struggling against religious platitude and relocation of the position of religion back to normality through insisting on being reasonable and flexible as Islam commends to follow the motto of the nest of one’s life without forgetting one’s religion and belief. The results of this study demonstrate the supremacy of young preachers who use the same social media platforms to reach the users and influence them positively through a soft and modern discourse based on flexibility and tolerance. This attitude overpasses the critics of jurists and owners of turban who don’t approve the phenomenon of young preachers in social media, yet the role of using the virtual space as an opportunity to communicate about how to maintain a balance between living an enjoyable life and also preserving moral and religious ethics, proves its validity according to this study.
In a different context Maha Abdelmajid (2018) tries to test the validity in the modern social applications in serving the religious practices notably their use for the sake of enhancing the ability to grasp and recall the content of the holy book. The researcher takes the initiative to check the content of a couple of official sites on the social media and their content which presents a full programme made of religious debates, educational courses, ‘fatwa’, dogmatic interpretation of social concerns in the Arabic Muslim countries. The study ends up revealing the huge gap between the religious orientation that should be conveyed in the social platforms and the actual position which doesn’t suit the expectations due to the lack of effectiveness of the religious content and the way it is presented to students in particular and other social platforms users in general. The use of new applications in searching about the exact meaning of the holy book is determined by a current insisting need more than a normal cultural trend. Furthermore, the interviewed claim that their relationship with the holy book and its content must be reconsidered which reflects on their preference to use more interactive digital content that can help grasping the meaning more than static content.
The previous studies try to reveal the intersections between religion and social media in many different aspects of life. The first one deals of the question of identity and how social media can influence the individual religious perception and create a sort of self-struggle to prove and enhance the religious identity in a liberal virtual space where ethics are relative and less controlled than the case in real life context. The second study transforms the virtual space into a field of struggle for the individuals who choose to act instead of react; the preachers can be seen as a new wave of militants whose concern goes beyond taking control of what they consume in the social platform toward transforming them to an effective tool to establish new bases for virtual communicative method that can reach the users and strengthen their dogmatic beliefs. As for the third study, the researcher puts the new technological applications under the experimentation by conducting a quantitative approach on the validity of these apps to achieve the instructive goal regarding its utility to help grasping and analysing the content of the holy text and helping users making good use of it.
Our study benefits from those previous researches through triggering the scientific disposition to go further in the analysis of the religious in a totally different context, which is the utilization of the religion itself as a regular source of income for those who have chosen to build their business around creating a religious content and offering spiritual services to be sold and consumed by virtual users in the different social media platforms that support the so called ’adsense’ payment. The first major point is the analysis of the process of transforming the religious practices, knowledge and beliefs into a virtual product that can be commercialized either in the form of a vlog that is put and visualized by the users, or by offering spiritual services that are made to be sold to whomever interested. The second point would be to demonstrate the impact of the religious exploitation and its limits between the virtual world and the real one as many freelancers enlarge their business after gaining popularity in the virtual space.
Since the aim of the study is to reveal the process of transforming the religious practices into a purely lucrative product, we have opted for adopting the methodological individualism that targets the social phenomenon as a consequence of subjective personal motivations by individual actors (Weber, 1922). Our choice is justified by the simple fact that transforming the religious practices into a lucrative product is the result of two main reasons; the first one is the individual himself, who tries to achieve a personal wealth using his cultural resources among which religious knowledge and dogmatic beliefs. The second one is the social context which operates in dynamic pace leaving the individuals with very limited choices to gain capital funds. The pragmatic orientation activates individual predispositions and guides the actions in generating new ways of gaining profits regardless the used resources (Marx, 1867). It is essential to rely on an eclectic sense in seeking data knowing that the subject would be hard to deal with especially when it comes to having individuals talking about their personal gain in a field where suspicion and competition are the essence of building a strong business.
The researcher adopted a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques to get the needed Data that can provide a maximum of adequate features, as well as integrating the field of research by perfuming private investigations to pierce the sections relative to some aspects of the research that couldn’t be revealed by ordinary techniques such as observation and semi directive interviews. The private investigation has proven its effectiveness as the gap of intimacy gets larger and the interviewed refuses to go further in providing pertinent answers to basic questions. Thus, in the first stage of data gathering, we have selected a couple of mass media platforms users’ who are faithful followers of this particular kind of content. We have identified the users that show a tendency to virtual communication through joining group chats on Facebook, whatsapp, Tiktok and Youtube links. These platforms offer a chance for the researcher to observe the adopted reactions toward the content presented by the creators as well as the consumptive behaviour regarding the spiritual services. By joining these group chats, the researcher created a virtual opportunity to be a member of any discussion that concerns the services and products offered by religious content creators and also being informed about any live event or interactive online discussion. The researcher managed to create a social link with 25 users who accepted to sit for a semi directive in-depth interview in real world to talk about their personal experiences and explain their reasons for a religious oriented digital content and services.
As for content creators, the process of Data gathering was more challenging due to the awkwardness that some questions might represent. To overcome this methodological obstacle, the researcher chose to opt for private investigations through which he managed to synchronise himself as an ordinary user who is seeking help from experienced content creators to be informed about the aspects of the study that cover the themes of reasons behind opting for social media as a market to gain money by exploiting the religious capital, the used techniques to convince users, the future plans and personal expectations… there were 10 influencers who accepted to be investigated by the researcher under the cover of an ordinary beginner in digital content creation.
For a better discussion of the results, we have chosen to divide this section in two main parts; the first one is dedicated to the users and the second one to the content creators.
Religious content as a reaction to immorality:
The answers of the users have revealed that their option for religious content on the different social media platforms is a kind of reaction to the so called ‘widespread moral decline’. The virtual space includes a massive wave of immorality served by inappropriate content such as the new forms of ‘mini vlogs’ in which housewives record their daily routine at home doing housework with ‘provocative clothing’. Their unique goal is to attract users by showing parts of their naked bodies to raise the number of views for the sake of gaining money. According to the interviewed, this kind of content contributes to moral degeneracy in the virtual space and has to be rebalanced by moral and meaningful content which is guaranteed by religion and its digital preachers. The general view proves a deep dissatisfaction of the Moroccan virtual content qualified most of the time as trivial and useless especially for those who defend the cultural ethics and religious identity, they think that virtual content must be controlled by the state, more restrictive rules and policies have to be established to restrain the immoral content.
This image of content competition between what individuals qualify as moral and immoral reflects the same attitudes adopted in real life situations. The debate on freedom and ethics is implicitly transferred to the virtual space using the same arguments but in a more flexible manner. The interviewed don’t approve what they consider to be immoral on the social media, meanwhile they don’t accept imposing their opinion on others and prefer to fortify themselves and closer social environment instead of going through an open struggle with the opposite opinion. Our intention here is not to go deep in analysing the nature of debate between real world and virtual one, but rather to prove they are both interrelated and so are the attitudes toward religious content choices.
Religious services as an alternative to modern medicine:
The virtual world constitutes for the majority of the interviewed, a huge potential field of traditional healers and spiritual consultants that could help those who opt for alternative medical practices instead of modern medicine. Users follow religious content creators who offer online healing sessions or advertise other practices related to spiritual services. The need for a virtual field where patients can exchange their health problem experiences beyond classic doctors and scientific discourse, animates their desire for consuming the religious content and going further in this process to heal themselves from a couple of health problems especially those that modern medicine doesn’t recognise or qualifies as psychopathology, mental disorder or even remediless sicknesses.
The interviewed members claim that faith in religion and the know-how of the traditional healers and spiritual consultants that offer their services in the different social media platforms, guides them to trust the virtual alternative practices. They can wetness the healing of similar cases online thanks to the live healing sessions that can be watched by the users, this fact encourages attracts them to opt for alternative medicine especially when the modern medicine doesn’t come with tangible results. Their argument would be that the scientific discourse is too hard to grasp and that doctors don’t even recognise a couple of paranormal disorders that can affect both the health and the mental. Concepts like; «evil eye», «possession» and «black magic» are all deeply rooted in the Moroccan culture and can’t be neglected by the modern medicine according to the answers of a couple of interviewed members.
The religious discourse is one of the factors that push users to opt for alternative medicine in the virtual world. The content creators use a symbolic religious speech full of holy book quotations and prophetic utterances, this kind of speech inspires trust and serenity in the users and makes them interact in a positive way with the reassured conversation animated by the creators. The investigated stress the role of religious discourse in regenerating hope and optimism through evoking the divine capacities and willing instead of sterile scientific discourse since the later doesn’t even recognise paranormal incidents that can affect the human body and mind. In this case the traditional practices would be the best alternative through following the prescriptions of healers who perform online private consulting and healing sessions for a fee that can be paid in several ways. They users can also buy online handmade substances like herbal potions, talismans and amulets, all related to the treatment of body and mental sicknesses that modern medicine fail to treat.
The virtual world can also be a space for showing solidarity between users suffering from remediless illnesses. The discussion that accompanies religious live broadcasting offers a chance for frustrated persons to express their ordeal and seek advices from other users who manifest high sense of sympathy and help connecting with patients with the same symptoms, thus the religious content turns to be a tool for users to reach other goals such as social positive interaction, community cohesion and boosting the psychological support that can help them deal with the health problems they have. From another perspective, the religious setting can be seen as an opportunity of catharsis that sick persons perform through exteriorizing their feelings, emotions and reducing anxiety by interacting with other users sharing the same concerns.
E-content overtakes classic Mass Media:
For a considerable category of users, the new social platforms are a source of religious knowledge in the sense that they offer the possibility to consume educative content about a couple of religious themes in a simplified and attractive way, unlike the intellectual TV programmes which demand a certain constructive level to be understood. The electronic content consumed by the members of the group samples investigated in the current study includes the following elements:
The new forms of accessing information turn to be a potential rival to classic mass media represented by TV, radio, satellite dish and newspapers. The members claim that having a small device that can be taken everywhere is a great experience notably when it contains religious applications with written and recited holy text used as a pastime especially for older users who are keen to reading and listening to ‘Koran’. The podcasts are also an effective way for religious education since they don’t require a direct eye contact with the device. The users find it easy to just listen to the content without the need to sit down and watch every single action, this gives them the freedom to move and do other tasks while benefiting from their favourite podcasts. The users explain intensive listening captures the receptor and work the mind’s capacities more than watching does. Words seem to be more powerful and receive the listener’s whole attention.
Religious content creation as a realisable project:
70% of the investigated religious content creators claim that they have tried other domains in content creation before opting for religious one. The reason behind this significant percentage can be interpreted by the fact that electronic content is a field that requires a couple of competencies such as creativity, analytical thinking, language mastery, computer programming and other communication skills. For the interviewed members this is the main obstacle that faces new young freelancers. Their choice to opt for religious content is built on two main bases; the first one concerns their position toward religion. The fact that they are Muslims and that they have been raised according to Islamic orientation plus the basics they learned at school or even at university for the ones who went further in their high studies, facilitates the task of creation a religious content for the ‘lay users’. The second one is the big demand on religious content that they have noticed when conducting their market study. Most of the religious publications on the Moroccan social media platforms get high reaction average; this fact proves that creating a religious oriented channel is a promising freelance business to build upon in addition to the general thinking which valorises any initiative that enhances the religious dimension and helps spreading the religious ethics and bases. Young freelancers who have chosen to turn into virtual preachers pretend to be the most trustworthy ones that can explain religion as they are deeply rooted Muslims, so there is a historical responsibility to be handled according to the holy text verses which insist on believers to help spreading Islam everywhere.
Another proposal which is worthy of mentioning states that opting for religious content can be the result of peer pressure; individuals are affected by the successful models on the social media, the images of rich preachers and spiritual consultants who are having a prosperous life thanks to their virtual business are too tempting for young freelancers to the extent that they want to have the same opportunity for the simple reason that they all have the same required skills to achieve success taking into account that religious content doesn’t need more than what they generally know, so the matter would be how to use it and transform it into material gain. That would take them to go through two main paths:
- Making it a transitional phase to collect the required financial capital to start a different business they prefer the most.
- Make it a permanent job and try to enlarge it by linking the virtual business with a physical centre, following a couple of well-known models in the domain.
We can deduce that even with different explanations and interpretations of the reasons behind opting for the religious theme in content creation, there is always a duality that comes over many times when discussing the freelancers answers; ‘Religion and Profit’, thus, exploiting the religious capital to gain material profit goes back to the Marxist theory mentioned earlier in this work. The pragmatic orientation stimulates the motivation to seek profit by exploiting any available resource which is the religious capital in this case, more than that, the excessive use of religion in making personal profit by pretending to have extra-capacities in treating some extreme health problems or claiming to possess holy substances that can heal remediless illnesses, is a modern image of «surplus value» which is the difference between the amount raised through a sale of a product and the amount it costs to manufacture (Marx, 1862).
The product in this situation is the content, while the cost is the religious capital which is being exploited and as a consequence can be damaged by this excessive exploitation. The overuse of the religious dimension may lead to significant changes of how individuals perceive and interact with the religious rituals and products. The modern society is governed by two main principals; Pragmatism and Rationality. Thus, when a product fails to meet the needs of a consumer, the validity of that product decreases, it also makes the consumer question his own perception toward the religious connotation that the creator uses as a solid base to promote that particular product, which is the case of some members in this study who claim to be betrayed many times due to their blind faith in the religious products and procedures seen in the different platforms, they express their dissatisfaction regarding a couple of spiritual services they had to pay in addition to many products that were advertised and promoted on the digital channels they follow on the different social media platforms.
Elements of financial gain:
The monetization process of religious content creation undergoes a set of stages including specific techniques as exposed in the following diagram:
These stages are the same ones described by the investigated members; they may differ in few techniques depending on the skills and perseverance of each one of the content creators. The common issue is that financial gain takes considerable amount of time before they can get steady returns; by the way this is the main reason behind quitting the domain by many other freelancers who fail to make their content visible in a very competitive virtual space. Content visibility is the key word used by the investigated members who succeeded to make profit out of their business. Being a successful model is another advantage as they can turn to be coaches and experts in mentoring and coaching new freelancers. The fact that content creation generates other roles and job opportunities makes it a promising field for ambitious persons who want to go further in online business.
According to the investigated members, the domain of content creation is doomed to fail if there are no innovative strategies made by the creator to maintain interaction and the visibility of his content. The most successful models on the social media platforms are the ones that create more productive ideas to keep ‘faithful followers’. The notion of innovation must include the way of presenting the content as well as parallel initiatives that the creator should invent to raise his prominence and ameliorate his reputation to gain new users and grow his business.
The following diagram contains the most cited innovative strategies by the investigated users and content creators community:
Some of the above strategies necessitate considerable amount of money to be realized, the solution mentioned by the investigated community is opting for a banking loan as a business investment using the government initiative launched a couple of years ago to help young freelancers to start or finance their business by offering financial facilities on the condition of possessing the professional status of a ‘young freelancer’ as it is described by the ministerial official circulars in Morocco. The great effort in this case is to persuade the bank that the business is worthy to be financially supported by presenting the previous gains and explaining the upcoming steps. The other alternative to this solution is to look for a partnership that can be physical or by finding a supporting company in return of hosting its products on the freelancer’s profile and content. The final alternative is to fully invest the previous financial gains to cover the expenses of enlarging the business which includes a great deal of risk according to the interviewed members who claimed that the responsibility can be shared when there is a partnership or in case there is a bank support whereas it’s completely individual when the freelancer takes the ultimate decision to put all his gains in future unsafe investment that can return to be a total failure for the whole business. The fear of taking risk in this case would be bigger than the ambition of the freelancer which is the reason why only few creators excel to distinguish their business from ordinary ones.
The results have shown that the digital domain in the Moroccan society offers a large freedom of content creation including the religious one. This freedom can be seen through the big number of accounts dedicated to making and promoting religious and spiritual products and services. There is a variety of religious content which turns to be material products and services with a spiritual or religious connotation pushing the users to mix between their trust and faith in their dogmatic orientation and their social background which is also affected by religious perceptions and predispositions. As a result, the users accept and consume many spiritual products, services, behaviours and ideas. They also go further in this vision to buying material products made or advertised by the content creators they follow. Their choice is justified by two main reasons:
-The first one can be seen as a duty to fight immorality in the digital word by giving more importance to moral and religious content which prioritises the Islamic values (spreading virtue, forbidding Evil, enhancing faith…).
-The second one is purely dedicated to traditional medical practices as an alternative to classic medicine especially the one that fails to treat extreme and remediless health problems or mental illnesses that have different spiritual interpretations in the local social background ( black magic, Evil eye, demon possession…). The individuals who tend to opt for alternative practices, join virtual group discussions and follow religious content creators on social media platforms so they can stay updated with alternative techniques and traditional products offered by healers, and also to be part of a huge connection made of patients with the same pathological symptoms, their goal is to exchange experiences and to seek social sympathy that can help them both psychologically and emotionally.
Regarding the content creators, the stakes are a bit different. Creating a religious content on social media platforms turns to be a lucrative action that can be interpreted as a new orientation in building personal freelance businesses since it has the needed elements to be considered as a lucrative activity:
The impact of this excessive use of the religious capital in the lucrative activities results in a sort of frustration observed through the speech and behaviours of the users community who constitute the database in the current study, the survey led to a couple of conclusions:
- The individuals who were victims of multiple online scams claim that they no longer trust the products with a religious connotation.
- The members of group chat who are patients with remediless health problems opt for religious content to create a social virtual atmosphere of compassion between the communities of users with the same concerns, their goal is rather to exchange self-experiences than to consume the presented services.
- The excessive integration of the religious dimension in lucrative content creation leads to a negative impact on the users’ community
- The recurrent and excessive use of the religious discourse for the sake of increasing the financial gain leads to the vulgarization of the religious capital and its symbols.
- The misuse of the religious connotation in the social network affects negatively the perceptions of users toward the religious capital.
- There is a significant gender difference between male and female concerns when dealing with the religious content on social media platforms:
- Women are concerned with two types of consumption:
-The online spiritual consulting (fortune telling, exorcism, sessions of Preaching and counselling…)
-Cosmetic products and traditional herbal mixtures for enhancing the eating appetite.
- Men are more concerned with:
-Devotional rituals (Coran recitation, incantation, religious hymns…)
-Physiological alternative practices (cupping, orthodontic treatment …)
Shaping the consumptive behaviour:
The impact of integrating the religious dimension in lucrative content creation goes beyond enhancing the religion adaptation in the user’s behaviour further to shaping the consumptive mood itself. Most of advertisements hosted while broadcasting religious content are heading to promoting a different kind of product consumption. This strategy consists of increasing the visibility of cosmetic and parapharmaceutical products that target a large community with common needs. It’s also a gender based method since it distinguishes the particularities of each gender. Thus, media platforms enhance the visibility of cosmetic products, clothing and surgical processes used to ameliorate the body shape and beauty care that women find worthy of consuming, whereas men are targeted by products that enhance virility, hair transplant procedures and self-care.
This transposition is also adopted in extending religious content creation business by integrating the religious discourse as a main tool to promote alternative products consumption. For example, the use of Hadith’s recommendation to women to be married and have a husband and a family is an image of “client’s need creation”, then comes the step of advertising herbal mixtures that help enlarging the female regions of the body that results in having more women buying these mixtures for the sake of obtaining a perfect body that would guarantee more chances to get married, since the ideal image of the perfect woman in the Moroccan traditional collective conscience is the ‘chubby’ female with manifested femininity.
Another example is the use of Coran’s verses that recommend men to work hard, marry and have children, as an argument to convince men buying alternative products that intensify and boost virility so they can be able to marry and have a normal sexual life with their partners.
These two examples illustrate how religious discourse unified with social collective beliefs shapes the consumptive behaviour and leads to getting more clients for a special product or service by making use of the holy book and Hadith recommendations and also by stimulating the emotions in a very sensitive way. Remembering a young girl that she must get married to achieve her goal in life or a young man that he has to be sexually strong enough to succeed in the martial life, is an ideal method for modern marketing used by religious content creators who have enlarged their business from virtual to real lucrative activities.
In this study, the subject matter was to analyse the religious content in the social media platforms from three main perspectives; the first one concerns the content itself, the second one deals with the users community while the third one questions the content creators. The most important findings concern the impact of integrating the religious dimension in the lucrative content creation; the results have demonstrated that excessive use of the capital religious in such activities can result in a deep impression of untrustworthiness of individuals toward the religious capital including values, rituals, products and recommendations.
The second crucial point is: when content creators emphasize the same religious discourse to convince consumers, they unintentionally contribute to the vulgarization of the religious sanctification, thus; the individuals find it recurrent to encounter the same religious-based-dialogue which results in normalizing the holiness of religious symbols that can lead to a total disrespect toward these symbols. There is a negative a significant negative impact of integrating the religious dimension in lucrative content creation due to the excessive use of the religious capital to increase and promote the lucrative business not only in the virtual context, but also in the extended outdoor gainful activities.
These findings are the result of a deep analysis of the data provided by four different sources; the members included in the samples of social media user’s community, the content creators who accepted to take part of this study, the circulated content in the Moroccan virtual context and finally the personal investigations operated by the researcher throughout the different steps of the study. However the study didn’t go further in analysing the images of religious integration in the extended business beyond the virtual world, this limitation can be the starting point of any further study that concerns the relationships and images of religious exploitation in the lucrative field in an advanced word animated by new technological methods and a variety of marketing techniques that not only push the consumers to opt for very specific products and services, but also shape their consumptive behaviour.
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