Neil Young has relaunched his crusade against Spotify, though this time, it’s not about audio quality. The rock veteran has asked the streaming giant to remove his music from the platform, citing “fake information about vaccines” the company has allowed to spread. Update – January 26th: Spotify began the process of removing Young’s music from its platform on Wednesday.
Young delivered the request in an open letter to his management and record label, though the letter seems to have been removed from his website. Per Rolling Stone, however, Young writes: “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.”
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young continued. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
With this, Young is referencing Joe Rogan, whose Joe Rogan Experience podcast has become a breeding ground for false COVID information. Among other things, Rogan has encouraged his young fans not to get vaccinated, and interviewed the controversial Dr. Robert Malone, who has compared pandemic safety policies to the Holocaust and accused public officials of ‘hypnotizing’ the public. Earlier this month, a group of scientists, doctors, professors, and healthcare workers wrote an open letter of their own regarding the dangers of the podcast, asking Spotify to “immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation.”
This isn’t the first time Young has taken a strict approach to COVID safety. Last month, the artist vowed not to resume touring until we “beat” the virus, which is becoming more and more difficult to imagine.
Young previously pulled his catalogue from most streaming giants back in 2015, when he was launching his own service PONO, but it went back online the following year. His most recent streamable offerings were the album–documentary duo BARN and the previously unreleased album Summer Songs.