A letter briefly appeared on Monday on Neil Young’s website that asked to remove his music from Spotify, according to Rolling Stone, in protest of the platform’s streaming of the podcaster Joe Rogan, who has been dismissive of the coronavirus vaccine.
“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,” Mr. Young wrote, according to Rolling Stone. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
He wrote: “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Rolling Stone reported that the letter was addressed to his manager as well as an executive at his record company. It was removed from the website on Tuesday morning.
Spotify did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request to comment. Frank Gironda, Mr. Young’s manager, told The Daily Beast that Mr. Young published the letter on Monday. “It’s something that’s really important to Neil,” Mr. Gironda told The Daily Beast. “He’s very upset about this disinformation.”
Mr. Young’s letter appeared to add to the pressure on Spotify to take a stronger stance on vaccine misinformation. Spotify, which is based out of Stockholm, was asked by hundreds of scientists, professors, and public health professionals to create a policy on how it handles misinformation about Covid-19.
In a letter published online, the experts wrote about a Dec. 31 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” that featured Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious-disease researcher who they said promoted “several falsehoods about Covid-19 vaccines.”
“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” the letter said.
It also said Spotify should “immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform.”
The company, which claims its podcast platform has over 299 million monthly users, previously stated in writing that it prohibits dangerous, deceptive, or false material about Covid-19. Also, that it has removed content violating its policies. However, episodes that violate these terms are still available on the platform.
Source: NY Times