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Spotify pulls Neil Young’s music after his ultimatum regarding Joe Rogan and ‘fake information about vaccines’

Neil Young, left, and Joe Rogan. (AP)
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Spotify is in the process of removing Neil Young’s music two days after Young posted a letter on his website demanding that his catalogue be removed in response to “fake information about vaccines” on the platform.

“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators,” a Spotify spokesperson told The Washington Post in a statement. “We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

Young’s letter, which has since been deleted, was addressed to his manager and an executive at his record label and cited Joe Rogan, who hosts “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, as part of his issue with Spotify.

“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,” Young wrote Monday, according to Rolling Stone. “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,” the letter continued. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, podcaster Brené Brown and more are standing up to Spotify for allowing Joe Rogan to keep airing coronavirus misinformation. (Video: Allie Caren/The Washington Post)

Young, the Canadian rock legend whose best-known hits include “Heart of Gold,” “Harvest Moon” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” had roughly 6.6 million monthly listeners on the platform. His manager, Frank Gironda, told the Daily Beast that the issue was “something that’s really important to Neil. He’s very upset about this disinformation.”

Representatives for Young did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.

On Wednesday, SiriusXM announced it would revive “Neil Young Radio,” a channel dedicated to Young’s music and storytelling, for a brief stint.

Doctors call out Spotify for letting Joe Rogan spread ‘false and societally harmful’ covid-19 claims

Rogan, who helms one of the most popular podcasts on Spotify, has repeatedly spread misinformation about the coronavirus vaccines to his estimated 11 million listeners per episode, of which he typically posts four to five a week. In April, for example, he came under fire for suggesting healthy, young people shouldn’t get vaccinated.

“If you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go no,’” he said on his podcast. “If you’re a healthy person, and you’re exercising all the time, and you’re young, and you’re eating well, like, I don’t think you need to worry about this.” He added that both of his children got covid-19 and it was “no big deal.”

“He is incorrect when he says that young people don’t need to worry about covid,” Rebecca Wurtz, an infectious-disease physician and population health informaticist who teaches at the University of Minnesota, told The Post at the time. “I’m really glad that his children had minimal symptoms from the virus. I hope that anyone who caught it from them, or caught it from those who caught it from them, are doing as well.”

Last September, Rogan discussed developing covid himself and treating it with a number of therapeutics and treatments, including ivermectin, a medicine used to kill parasites in animals and humans, which is not authorized or approved by either the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Food and Drug Administration to treat covid.

In December, Rogan invited Robert Malone, a physician who has become a prominent skeptic of the coronavirus vaccines, to appear on his show. “Malone had a following before his ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ interview that was released Dec. 31 — but that show introduced him to an even wider audience,” wrote The Post’s Timothy Bella. “On it, he promoted an unfounded theory called ‘mass-formation psychosis,’ telling Rogan that a ‘third of the population [is] basically being hypnotized’ into believing what the mainstream media and Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and chief medical adviser to President Biden, report on the vaccines. Malone went on to compare the country’s pandemic policies to Nazi Germany.”

In response to Malone’s appearance on the podcast, more than 270 medical professionals signed an open letter urging Spotify “to immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.”

“The average age of JRE listeners is 24 years old and according to data from Washington State, unvaccinated 12-34 year olds are 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with covid than those who are fully vaccinated,” the letter stated. “Dr. Malone’s interview has reached many tens of millions of listeners vulnerable to predatory medical misinformation.”

Read more:

Joe Rogan is using his wildly popular podcast to question vaccines. Experts are fighting back.

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