Furious Neil Young fans are backing the singer and pledging to cancel their Spotify subscriptions after the streaming service refused to back down on his Joe Rogan podcast.
The 76-year-old’s music has been removed from Spotify after he protested against the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus in The Joe Rogan Experience, which is one of the most popular programs on the platform.
This week, Young posted an open letter to his manager and record label, which has since been deleted, which read: “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, [The Joe Rogan Experience], hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has enormous influence.
“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, although the company does not currently have a misinformation policy.”
He added: “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform… You can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Young said Rogan’s podcast was spreading “false information” about COVID-19 vaccines that was “potentially killing those who believe the misinformation is being spread by them.”
A Spotify spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday, January 26, that Young’s music would be removed from their platform. His music has since returned to SiriusXM in the US.
“Siding with Joe Rogan over Neil Young has to be the best L ever. [loss]”, wrote a fan in a widely shared tweet.
“Neil Young is a hero. That’s it. That’s the tweet,” activist and author Amy Siskind wrote.
“If all artists were as punk rock as Neil Young, maybe we wouldn’t be absolutely screwed by corporate broadcast companies,” tweeted musician Margo Price.
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British singer Kate Nash commented: “I really admire Neil Young for getting his music off Spotify.”
Writer and comedian Tom Scharpling wrote: “I love clowns who laugh like Neil Young ever thought Spotify would ditch Joe Rogen. The guy took a stand, put his money where his mouth is. It forced the company to make a real color-revealing decision. This is just one of the many reasons why Neil is a veteran.”
Comedian Christopher Titus said he had deleted his Spotify account, commenting: “[Spotify] pulled all the stuff from the comics a month ago because they didn’t want to pay them and i’m not willing to support crazy misinformation. Listening to Neil Young.”
the independent has contacted Spotify for comment.
“We want all the music and audio content in the world to be available to Spotify users. With that comes a huge responsibility to balance the safety of listeners and the freedom of creators,” the streaming service said in its statement yesterday.
“We have detailed content policies and have removed over 20,000 Covid-related podcast episodes since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but look forward to welcoming him back soon.”
Following Young’s letter, his fans shared excerpts from the musician’s memoir in which he opened up about having polio as a child.
Earlier this month, 270 members of the scientific and medical community wrote an open letter to Spotify, saying that Rogan, by allowing claims to go unchecked, may “damage public trust in scientific research and cast doubt on the credibility of the research.” of data-driven guidance offered by physicians. professionals”.
“This is not just a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological problem of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to flourish on its platform,” the letter said.