UPDATE: 1/29/22 – Fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell has also followed suit by removing her music from the Swedish based streaming platform. The 78-year-old confirmed the news on her website. “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” she said on Friday, Jan. 28. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”
UPDATE: 1/26/22 – Spotify is in the process of removing Neil’s catalogue, two days after he posted his now deleted letter on his website, according to the Washington Post.
“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,” a Spotify spokesperson told the outlet in a statement. “We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Neil Young, just posted a message for Spotify: he’s out if the misinformation continues to spread! Per Pitchfork, the musician released a statement on his website on Jan. 24 to his manager, Frank Gironda, and Warner Bros. co-chairman and Chief Operating Officer Tom Corson demanding they remove his music from the streaming platform due to its “spreading fake information about the vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread to them.”
The “Down By the River” singer went on, “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both,” he stated, referencing the Spotify podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, which doctors and public health professionals have condemned for spreading misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine panic.
Early last year, Joe Rogan wanted to make it clear to people that he’s “not an anti-vax person” despite saying young healthy people don’t need the COVID-19 vaccine. “I’m not a doctor, I’m a f–k-ing moron. I’m not a respected source of information, even for me…But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying,” Joe said on the April 29, 2021 episode of his podcast, two days after facing backlash for his vaccine comments.
“I’m not an anti-vax person. In fact I said, I believe they’re safe and encourage many people to take them,” Joe continued. “My parents got vaccinated. I just said, ‘I don’t think that if you’re a young healthy person, you need it.’ Their argument was, ‘You need it for other people’…but that’s a different argument.”
Since then, however, the comedian and top podcaster has had numerous guests on his show who offer contrasting views to the guidance issued via the CDC, which many top medical professional say sows doubt in the minds of the American public regarding the virus, the vaccines, and their health.
“Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy,” the group of 270 medical professionals wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Rolling Stone on Jan. 12. “Throughout the covid-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine.”