If you are an avid listener of Neil Young’s extensive songbook, you’ll soon have one less way to access it. The singer-songwriter says he is pulling all of his music from Spotify after accusing the streaming platform of promoting and spreading COVID-19 “misinformation” via the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
Earlier this month, a group of scientists and health experts approached Spotify with the request to take down the Dec. 31 podcast episode of the Joe Rogan Experience that featured virologist and immunologist Dr. Robert Malone. During the episode, Malone made multiple statements about the virus that were factually inaccurate, calling vaccinations “gene therapy” and comparing the U.S. vaccination efforts to Nazi Germany. Spotify did not publicly address the backlash to the episode, which is still available to stream on their platform.
In a since-removed letter posted to his official website on Jan. 25, Young voiced his concern and anger over Spotify’s inaction toward the incident.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” he wrote, according to The Washington Post.
“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy,” Young continued. ”I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform…They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
The Joe Rogan Experience is currently exclusively hosted on Spotify and is one of the top streamed podcasts on the platform. Earlier today (Jan. 26), The New York Times reported that Spotify had released an official statement in response to Young’s decision to remove his music from the platform.
“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators,” the statement reads. “We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
As of this story’s publishing, Young’s music is still accessible on Spotify but is expected to be removed in the coming hours.
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