Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils Lofgren joins Neil Young, Joni Mitchell in removing music from Spotify
Neil Young started the trend after demanding Spotify remove Joe Rogan's content
Bruce Springsteen's guitarist and Neil Young’s bandmate, Nils Lofgren, is the latest musician to pull their music from Spotify in protest of what they say is COVID-19 misinformation on the platform.
Lofgren, 70, joins Young and Joni Mitchell who earlier this week asked the streaming service to remove their respective catalogs of music specifically in protest of Joe Rogan using his podcast, which is exclusive to the platform, to spread what they say is misinformation about the pandemic and vaccines.
"A few days ago, my wife Amy and I became aware of Neil and Daryl [Hannah] standing with hundreds of health care professionals, scientists, doctors and nurses in calling out Spotify for promoting lies and misinformation that are hurting and killing people," Lofgren wrote in the latest issue of Neil Young’s newsletter. "When these heroic women and men, who’ve spent their lives healing and saving ours, cry out for help you don’t turn your back on them for money and power. You listen and stand with them."
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He went on to explain that he had already taken steps to remove "the last 27 years of my music" from the platform and that he is currently in discussions with various labels that own his earlier work to remove the rest of it. As Young did in his initial announcement, Lofgren encouraged his fellow musicians to follow his lead and "cut ties with Spotify."
After agreeing to remove Young’s music from its platform, Spotify issued a statement saying that it has policies in place to remove misleading content from its platform and has taken down more than 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. However, it did not address "The Joe Rogan Experience" directly.
CEO Daniel Ek released a larger statement in which he made the company’s policies on misinformation, specifically when it comes to COVID-19, public.
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"You’ve had a lot of questions over the last few days about our platform policies and the lines we have drawn between what is acceptable and what is not," he wrote. "We have had rules in place for many years but admittedly, we haven’t been transparent around the policies that guide our content more broadly. This, in turn, led to questions around their application to serious issues including COVID-19.
"Based on the feedback over the last several weeks, it’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time.
The platform has remained quiet on Rogan, who went exclusive with the platform in 2020, even after he’s been the centerpiece of misinformation controversies.
Last month, for example, Rogan interviewed on his podcast Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist who was banned from Twitter for allegedly spreading COVID misinformation. Prior to that, he previously caught backlash for telling "young and healthy" listeners to skip the vaccine.
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Rogan is one of the streaming service's biggest stars, with a contract that could earn him more than $100 million.
Fox Business' Melissa Roberto and The Associated Press contributed to this report.