Neil Young has demanded that Spotify remove his music because the streaming service spreads “fake information about vaccines—potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”
Young wrote an open letter to his manager and record label that criticized comedian Joe Rogan, the host of the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcast that is hosted by Spotify, for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Rogan has been vocal during the pandemic about vaccines, vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions.
“With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” Young wrote in the now deleted letter. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
“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.”
Rogan reportedly signed a contract with Spotify for $100 million in 2020. The contract guaranteed that the podcast would be exclusive to Spotify.
Young’s complaints are not the first Spotify has heard about Rogan’s podcast. Earlier this month 270 scientists and health care professionals signed an open letter to the company saying Rogan’s podcast is “promoting baseless conspiracy theories” and asking the service to take action against mass-misinformation events on its platform.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine,” it said.
Young has a little more than 6 million monthly followers on the service.
In the letter Young wrote, he cited an episode of the podcast that featured a conversation between Rogan and Dr. Robert Malone. Malone is a virus expert who worked on research into several mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
Malone criticized the COVID-19 vaccines he said he helped to create, claiming that hospitals have been financially motivated to falsely diagnose deaths as having been caused by COVID-19.
Spotify had not responded to a request for comment from the Journal.
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