Spotify to remove Neil Young’s music over vaccine “misinformation” protest

The musician demanded the company take his music down from the platform over content "spreading false information about vaccines"

Spotify will remove Neil Young’s music from its platform following the musician’s calls for it to do so earlier this week.

On Monday (January 24), Young published an open letter – which has since been deleted – expressing his feelings about content like the Joe Rogan Experience podcast “spreading false information about vaccines”.

“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” the musician wrote. “With an estimated 11million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”


Spotify has now responded confirming that it will do as Young has requested. “We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users,” it said in a statement sent to Billboard.

Neil Young announces release of 1987 demos he doesn’t remember recording
Credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images.

“With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. 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.”

At the time of writing, Young’s music is still available to listen to on Spotify in the UK.

The legendary singer-songwriter is not the only person to criticise Spotify for allowing false information to be spread on its platform lately. Hundreds of scientists and medical professionals also recently called on the streaming service to address “dangerous” COVID-19 misinformation featured on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

“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,” they wrote in a letter to the company.


Meanwhile, Young will not perform live until the pandemic has been beaten, the star said in an interview last month. “I don’t care if I’m the only one who doesn’t do it,” he told Howard Stern.

“People are not being realistic and they’re not being scientific. If we followed the rules of science, and everybody got vaccinated, we’d have a lot better chance.”

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