Joni Mitchell to leave Spotify over COVID misinformation, after Neil Young did same

Joni Mitchell performing with B.B. King. 


Roger Ressmeyer/Getty Images

Joni Mitchell has turned up the volume on a call for Spotify to address misinformation on its platform. The iconic singer-songwriter says she plans to pull her work off the music and podcast streaming service over false claims about COVID-19 vaccines.

“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,” Mitchell said Friday in a brief post on her website. “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Rocker Young sparked a #DeleteSpotify movement earlier this week when he yanked his catalog off the service and cited a letter by medical professionals criticizing Spotify and its most popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, for spreading vaccine misinformation.

In her post, Mitchell included a link to that same letter. It calls out an episode of Rogan’s podcast that featured virologist and vaccine skeptic Dr. Robert Malone, points to a critical post about Malone on fact-checking site PolitiFact, and urges Spotify to establish a policy on misinformation.

“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions,” the letter says, “Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals.”

In 2020, Spotify made its service the exclusive home of Rogan’s podcast after signing a licensing deal that The Wall Street Journal reported was worth more than $100 million.

On Friday, Young posted a note on his site underlining his stance.

“I support free speech,” Young’s post says. “I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information.”

Spotify didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more: Spotify faces backlash after Neil Young pulls music over Joe Rogan COVID misinformation

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