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Joni Mitchell wants songs removed from Spotify

BBC News logo BBC News 1/29/2022
Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in calling for her music to be removed from Spotify © Reuters Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in calling for her music to be removed from Spotify

Singer Joni Mitchell has joined Neil Young in asking for her music to be removed from Spotify over Covid misinformation concerns.

"Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives," the Canadian singer said in a post on her official website.

On Monday, Young said the streaming platform must choose either him, or the podcaster Joe Rogan.

Rogan has been accused of spreading false information about Covid.

In her message on Friday, Mitchell, whose hits include Big Yellow Taxi, said she stands in solidarity with the Canadian-American singer, Neil Young, and with the "global scientific and medical communities".

Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have been friends for many years, and are both survivors of polio. They both contracted the disease in the early 1950s, not long before a vaccine became available.


Video: Joni Mitchell removes music from Spotify over vaccine misinformation (Reuters)

Unlike Young, Mitchell did not specifically name Mr Rogan in her post.

However, she did include a link to an open letter signed by a group of scientists and medical professionals, which criticised Spotify for hosting Rogan's podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience.

The letter accuses Rogan of spreading a range of misleading claims, and provoking distrust in science and medicine.

It calls on Spotify to "take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform".

Neil Young, who is behind classic hits such as Harvest Moon and Heart of Gold, accused Spotify on Monday of "spreading fake information about vaccines - potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them".

On Wednesday, Spotify agreed to remove his songs from the platform, and said it hoped he decides to return to the platform soon. It also defended its record in removing misinformation from the service.

"We have detailed content policies in place and we've removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid since the start of the pandemic."

The Joe Rogan Experience is Spotify's most popular podcast, with a reported 200 million downloads a month. The streaming platform is said to have paid $100m (£75m) for rights to it.

In the past, Rogan has said he is "not an anti-vax person", and that he believes the vaccines are safe and encourages many people to get them.

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