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Neil Young is pulling his music from Spotify over Joe Rogan COVID misinformation, report says


Neil Young had some choice words for Spotify.


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Musician Neil Young delivered an ultimatum to music streaming platform Spotify: It can host his music or comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, but it can’t have both. Now Spotify is reportedly in the process of removing Young’s music from its service, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday. 

In a letter posted his website, Young took issue with Rogan’s podcast for spreading COVID misinformation. The letter, however, is no longer available on Young’s website. 

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young wrote in the letter to his manager and record label, which was reported by Rolling Stone on Monday. “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.”

Neither Young’s management nor Spotify immediately responded to requests for comment. As of Wednesday, Young’s music is still available on the music streaming platform. 

Spotify is the exclusive platform for Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, in a deal worth $100 million. In the past year, Rogan has had multiple people against vaccines and conspiracy theorists on his podcast. These guests pushed unproven treatments such as ivermectin, while also spreading false information about the COVID-19 vaccines. 

COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe and effective against severe disease, hospitalization and death. On Dec. 31, Dr. Robert Malone, a vocal opponent of the vaccines, appeared on Rogan’s podcast. He compared the current state of the pandemic to Nazi Germany and suggested that people taking precautions against COVID-19 were suffering from so-called “mass formation psychosis,” a medical-sounding phrase discredited by medical experts. In addition to the vaccines, other public health measures like masking and social distancing have helped slow the spread COVID-19. 

Earlier this month, a letter from more than 250 medical professionals, professors and researchers called for Spotify to stop the spread of COVID misinformation on its platform and pointed to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Since then, more than a thousand other professionals have signed the letter. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine.” Of the Malone episode, they said: “These actions are not only objectionable and offensive, but also medically and culturally dangerous.” 



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