Spotify already has a response to Neil Young’s ultimatum following outrage over allegations that Joe Rogan is spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. Like Wall Street Journal reports, Spotify is in the midst of removing Young’s music from the worldwide streaming service. Her catalog (very large) was still available at the time of writing, but we suggest listening Harvest one more time just in case.
Young has been in talks with Spotify and his label Warner Records since he posted an open letter threatening to withdraw his albums. The artist made the formal request on Wednesday (January 26), and the song is apparently about to disappear within “several hours.”
In a statement to Ploonge, Spotify said it “regrets[ted]The company also defended its anti-disinformation practices, claiming that it accepts a “great responsibility” in reconciling the listener’s safety and the creator’s freedom. The company added that it has withdrawn more than 20,000 podcast COVID-related episodes since the start of the pandemic. He didn’t say why he was still hosting Joe Rogan’s Experience episodes that contained misinformation, however, including unsubstantiated claims by Dr. Robert Malone that “psychosis” led people to believe that vaccines were effective.
Spotify also offered no reasons for its decision. However, the company is believed to have paid over $100 million to land a multi-year distribution deal with Rogan. While the exact terms of the deal are unclear, Spotify could face financial and legal consequences if it pulls the Rogan episodes. CEO Daniel Ek also argued that his company has no editorial responsibility despite its recent practices.
You can read Spotify’s full statement below:
We want all of the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes a great responsibility to balance safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have implemented detailed content policies and removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but we hope to welcome you back soon.
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