Facebook Twitter

Neil Young wants to remove his music from Spotify over Joe Rogan’s comments about vaccines

Neil Young wants to remove all his music from Spotify because of misinformation

SHARE Neil Young wants to remove his music from Spotify over Joe Rogan’s comments about vaccines
Side by side photo of Neil Young and Joe Rogan.

This combination photo shows Neil Young in Calabasas, Calif., on May 18, 2016, left, and UFC announcer and podcaster Joe Rogan before a UFC on FOX 5 event in Seattle on Dec. 7, 2012. Young fired off a public missive to his management on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, demanding that they remove his music from the popular streaming service Spotify in protest over Rogan’s popular podcast spreading misinformation about COVID-19. But by Tuesday afternoon, his letter had been removed from his website, “Heart of Gold” and other hits were still streaming.

Associated Press

Neil Young demanded that Spotify remove his music because the platform allows Joe Rogan to spread misinformation about the vaccines.

  • “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. Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule,” he said per CNBC News.
  • “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he wrote.
  • “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE [the Joe Rogan Experience] which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” Young continued.
  • “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

He isn’t the only one

According to BBC, last month, 270 doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter requesting that Spotify “immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform,” regarding the COVID-19 pandemic due to Rogan’s podcast.

Fox News deemed the letter misleading as it also included signatures from those who are not direct medical providers. Only 87 of the signatories were medical doctors or doctors of osteopathic medicine.

The letter specifically cited an episode where Rogan interviewed Dr. Robert Malon, a virologist who worked on the early mRNA technology research behind the COVID-19 vaccine (he is now critical of the treatment).

  • Dr. Malon, who is suspended from Twitter, wrote about the dangers of the COVID-19 vaccines, benefits of ivermectin and the monetary incentives hospitals get from COVID-19 patients. He also stated that the vaccines can put people at a higher risk of getting the virus.

Spotify and its history

In the past, the streaming platform has removed controversial content, including several episodes of Rogan’s podcast featuring right-wing personalities, per BBC. They have also removed music by neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate groups.

In 2018, the company announced a new policy around “hateful conduct.” Three weeks later, they reversed it after an uproar from people in the music industry, though the company was still dedicated to removing hateful content, per The New York Times.

“We don’t aim to play judge and jury,” Spotify said in a blog post back then.

According to Fast Company, in recent months, Spotify owner Daniel Ek revealed he had invested 100 million euros in the defense firm Helsing, which was developing AI software to support military operations. Following that, the movement “Boycott Spotify” started gaining momentum in protest.