Neil Young vs. Spotify: either my songs, or Rogan’s no-vax podcast

from Irene Soave

“They can have Rogan or me, not both”: so the singer-songwriter in a letter to his managers, posted on his website (and then deleted). The podcast, 11 million viewers, talks about “vaccine hypnosis” and “incentives to hospitals for false diagnoses”

A post later deleted, in which singer-songwriter Neil Young announces that he will ask Spotify «to remove all my music. The platform is spreading false, false and potentially deadly information on vaccines ”. The reference, the singer clarifies later in the letter, is to the podcast of conservative commentator Joe Rogan, “The Joe Rogan Experience”: the same podcast, very followed by no-vax, which 270 scientists asked Spotify to close in an open letter a few days ago. Neil Young’s post appeared on his website on Monday, in the form of a letter to his managers, and then it was removed; and indeed at the moment, both Joe Rogan’s podcast and Neil Young’s songs are featured on the platform.

“Do it now,” Neil Young writes to his managers, “and let me know immediately how it goes. I want you to notify Spotify of my intentions right away and I don’t want to find my music there anymore. They can have either Joe Rogan or Neil Young. Not both of them. ‘ Joe Rogan’s podcast and this case are a prime example of the limits of platform neutrality. Spotify bought the show’s exclusive in 2020 with a record $ 100 million deal. And The Joe Rogan Experience is listened to, on average, by 11 million viewers. “Spotify has a responsibility for the content of the show,” Neil Young protests in the letter.

The content to which it refers is in particular a very controversial episode on anti-Covid vaccines. The host was the “independent” virologist Robert Malone, who criticizes the vaccine technologies available. Both Rogan and Malone spoke of “financial incentives for hospitals” to diagnose false deaths from Covid, and also “mass hypnosis” of global leaders towards the population. Doctors who signed the letter against the show spoke of a “threat to global public health,” given the ratings. But no reaction from Spotify.

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