Artists are pulling their music from Spotify because the app refuses to remove a Joe Rogan podcast episode that promotes false Covid claims.
Last month, nearly 300 experts signed an open letter to Spotify criticizing the platform over the Joe Rogan podcast. Two hundred and seventy doctors, scientists, professors, and healthcare professionals wrote the letter to the streaming company, saying they were concerned about the medical misinformation being made mainstream by The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
The podcast is the most popular one on the streaming platform. In the letter, they asked for the platform to finally establish a clear and public policy about how it handles misinformation.
The letter accused the Joe Rogan show of a concerning history of misinformation, especially misinformation over Covid. One of the episodes features an extremely controversial virologist, Rober Malone, who was involved in the mRNA vaccine technology that eventually led to some of the manufacturing of Covid vaccinations.
But the vaccine scientist is accused of spreading vaccine misinformation, and this episode, in particular, has been widely criticized for promoting baseless and disproven conspiracy theories.
Last week, Neil Young called out Spotify for spreading misinformation on vaccinations and requested his music be removed from the streaming platform. He said that he would not be sharing a platform with Joe Rogan, and that Spotify could have Rogan or Young, but not both.
Since his music was pulled, Spotify has reportedly lost more than $2 billion.
Young’s decision has been followed by many others. Master singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell removed her music over the weekend from Spotify, joining Young in a protest over vaccine misinformation and stating her unity with his decision. Mitchell said that irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives.
A chorus of other podcasters and musicians have followed suit. They have made public condemnations over Spotify’s refusal to remove Covid misinformation, and many have removed their content as well.
It puts Spotify in the hot seat to make a decision.