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26 January 2022

Neil Young demands Spotify removes his music due to ‘disinformation being spread’ by podcaster Joe Rogan

26 January 2022

Rocker Neil Young has called for his music to be pulled from Spotify “immediately,” due to vaccine misinformation spread by podcaster Joe Rogan on the streaming service.

Rogan has been widely criticised for airing vaccine-sceptical views, and promoting debunked claims about treating Covid-19 with the anti-parasite drug ivermectin.

Spotify, which paid $100m for rights to the podcast in 2020, has yet to comment.

An open letter to the 76-year-old Heart of Gold hit-maker’s record label and management, which included the line “they can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” was briefly posted to his Neil Young Archives website before being removed.

The contents of the letter read: “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform.

“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.

“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,” the Canadian-American star continued.

“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy,” he added.

Last month, 270 doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter calling for Spotify to implement a policy for dealing with misinformation because of Rogan’s “concerning history” in discussing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Spotify has removed controversial content in the past, including several episodes of Rogan’s podcast featuring right-wing personalities, which were recorded before he signed his exclusivity deal with the service in 2020.

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