“Having heard the Covid disinformation spread by Joe Rogan on Spotify, I completely agree with and support my friend Neil Young and I am requesting that my solo recordings be removed from the service,” Nash said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“There is a difference between being open to varying viewpoints on a matter and knowingly spreading false information which some 270 medical professionals have derided as not only false but dangerous,” Nash continued. “Likewise, there is a difference between misinformation, in which one is unaware that what is being said is false, versus disinformation which is knowingly false and intended to mislead and sway public opinion.”
“The opinions publicized by Rogan are so dishonest and unsupported by solid facts that Spotify becomes an enabler in a way that costs people their lives,” Nash added.
Over the last several months, Rogan’s podcast, which is exclusive to Spotify, 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.”
The controversy reached a fever pitch last week when Neil Young issued an ultimatum to Spotify to either remove his music or Rogan’s podcast. As he put it, “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” Spotify promptly removed Young’s music, stating, “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.” In solidarity with Young, Joni Mitchell and E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren have also removed their music from the platform. Young and Nash’s Crosby Stills Nash and Young bandmate David Crosby also expressed a desire to boycott Spotify, but he no longer controls his music after selling his catalog last year.
In light of the Young-led boycott, Spotify promised to add disclaimers prior to episodes featuring discussions about COVID-19. Meanwhile, in a video response posted to Instagram, Rogan pledged to “balance things out” and “research topics” before pressing record — though, as of Monday night, he continues to spread misinformation.