In a open letter to his management and record label, which has since been taken down, Neil Young has asked that his music be promptly removed from Spotify, citing COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on the 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,” he wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young added, referencing vaccine misinformation that Rogan has promoted on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. This comes a month after 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators signed an open letter requesting that Spotify implement a misinformation policy.
“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,” the letter said. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platforms though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
It continued: “As scientists, we face backlash and resistance as the public grows to distrust our research and expertise. As educators and science communicators, we are tasked with repairing the public’s damaged understanding of science and medicine. As physicians, we bear the arduous weight of a pandemic that has stretched our medical systems to their limits and only stands to be exacerbated by the anti-vaccination sentiment woven into this and other episodes of Rogan’s podcast.”