Neil Young wants his music taken off Spotify: “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines”

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines,” the musician wrote in his open letter

Neil Young

Credit: The Photo Access/Alamy

Folk icon Neil Young has issued an open letter for Spotify to remove his songs from their platform immediately following the outcry over popular podcast host Joe Rogan inviting anti-vax voices on his Spotify-exclusive The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.

The letter, which has now been deleted from Young’s website, was addressed to both Spotify and Young’s record label, noted Young’s opposition to sharing a platform with Rogan, with the veteran musician writing, “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

“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.”

Speaking to The Daily Beast, Young’s manager Frank Gironda confirmed the musician’s dissatisfaction with the platform, saying, “It’s something that’s really important to Neil. He’s very upset about this disinformation,” adding that he and Young were currently working out how to proceed.

Rogan came under fire earlier this month after hosting controversial anti-vax virologist Dr. Robert Malone on his podcast, where the doctor likened pandemic health policies to the Holocaust and claimed societal leaders have brainwashed the public. A group of scientists, health experts, and doctors subsequently issued an open letter demanding Spotify create a public policy for disinformation.

“Dr. Malone used the Joe Rogan Experience platform to further promote numerous baseless claims, including several falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and an unfounded theory that societal leaders have ‘hypnotised’ the public,” the letter read, while also calling out Rogan for repeatedly making “misleading and false claims”, including discouraging young people from getting vaccinations, promoting off-label use of the drug ivermectin, and calling mRNA vaccines “gene therapy”.

The group did not call for action to be taken against Rogan, however, and instead wants Spotify to publish clear and public guidelines on how they will moderate misinformation on their platform.