Joni Mitchell, a Canadian singer-songwriter, has announced that she will be removing all of her music from Spotify. She issued a brief statement on her website, stating that “irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives.”
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She went on to say that she supports “Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”
While Mitchell did not specifically mention COVID-19 or Joe Rogan, she did link to an open letter to Spotify from a group of scientists and doctors who chastised the host for “repeatedly spreading misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young threatened to leave Spotify a few days ago, telling his team that it was because “Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines.” He also stated that Spotify has the potential to “Young or [Joe] Rogan. Neither.”
Joni Mitchell and Young are friends who contracted polio as children before the vaccine was available. Unsurprisingly, Spotify began removing Young’s catalog from the platform shortly after news of his stance broke, while also claiming that it is working to remove disinformation from its service.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the company has removed over 20,000 COVID-related podcast episodes, according to the company. Rogan’s show, on the other hand, is still very much available.
This includes the contentious episode with Dr. Robert Malone, who claimed that “mass formation psychosis” led people to believe that vaccines were effective against COVID-19. Spotify reportedly paid more than $100 million for the exclusive rights to host The Joe Rogan Experience in 2020.
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The show is a key component in Spotify’s quest to maintain its dominance in the podcast space, so it’s not surprising that Young’s music had to find a new home.