Marketing in the metaverse, noncommunicable diseases and human rights
More details
Hide details
O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington, United States
Center of Technology and Society (CETyS), Universidad de San Andres, Argentina
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A556
The metaverse will change the world in many ways. Essentially creating virtual spaces owned by private companies where individuals, corporations, and even governments can interact with minimal oversight. Although the Web 2.0 had already offered a brand-new way of interacting with others, the interactions that the metaverse’s immersive technologies enable will bring about a new worldview and multiple challenges. The metaverse will definitely offer numerous benefits for users–such as organizing virtual field trips for students or getting a telemedicine consultation with a doctor in any part of the world. However, the use of these technologies could also entail potential serious risks for the right to health and health-related rights. In this study we examine the legal and policy implications of marketing and advertising by unhealthy commodities companies (tobacco, alcohol, ultraprocessed foods/beverages) in the metaverse and what it means for people’s health. In particular, we aim to answer questions, such as: what is or should be the role of public health authorities in the metaverse? Are current health-related legal standards applicable in the metaverse? Do we need specific norms to protect the right to health? What are the anticipated health and human rights risks that a poorly regulated metaverse–or poorly enforced laws and regulations in this space– can facilitate?