Earlier in the week, Neil Young told Spotify it needed to make a choice: Joe Rogan or himself. The tech giant chose Joe Rogan.
On Wednesday, January 26th, Spotify confirmed to the New York Times that it has started the process of removing Young’s music from the streaming service. This comes only two days after folk-rock artist ordered Spotify to remove his music if they kept The Joe Rogan Experience podcast on its platform. In the letter, Young stated it’s because Rogan is spreading vaccine misinformation on his show.
“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. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Earlier this month, Rogan came under fire for his controversial take on vaccinations, and in one episode virologist Dr. Robert Malone made an appearance to critique COVID-19 treatments. Once a part early research into the mRNA technology behind several COVID-19 vaccines, Malone falsely stated that being vaccinated puts people who have already had COVID-19 at higher risk. The episode also got into conspiracy theory territory, Rogan and Malone drawing parallels between vaccinations and hypnotism from world leaders.
“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 in his letter. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
In December, 270 doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter requesting that Spotify develop a policy concerning vaccine misinformation, citing the Rogan and Malone podcast episode. There still has been no word from Spotify.
This story was updated on January 26th.
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