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Graham Nash has joined the growing chorus of artists removing their music from Spotify to protest misinformation about vaccines disseminated by the platform’s Joe Rogan Experience. The move comes just one week after Nash’s former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate Neil Young demanded the streaming platform remove his catalog for the same reason.
“Having heard the Covid disinformation spread by Joe Rogan on Spotify, I completely agree with and support my friend Neil Young and I am requesting that my solo recordings be removed from the service,” Nash said in a statement of solidarity with his friend and longtime bandmate.
Young became the first major artist to demand his own music be pulled from the streaming service to protest the disinformation. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young wrote. By Wednesday, Spotify acquiesced.
In Nash’s statement, he cites the scores of doctors who signed a letter last month urging Spotify do more about Covid misinformation following Rogan’s podcast episode featuring Dr. Robert Malone, which contained false statements about the Covid vaccine. Last year, Spotify bought the rights to Rogan’s podcast in a reported $100 million deal — and the company has since received staunch criticism over its responsibility to moderate the content it owns.
“There is a difference between being open to varying viewpoints on a matter and knowingly spreading false information which some 270 medical professionals have derided as not only false but dangerous,” Nash said. “Likewise, there is a difference between misinformation, in which one is unaware that what is being said is false, versus disinformation which is knowingly false and intended to mislead and sway public opinion.
“The opinions publicized by Rogan are so dishonest and unsupported by solid facts that Spotify becomes an enabler in a way that costs people their lives,” Nash added.
David Crosby also united with his former bandmates in lambasting Spotify. When asked if he would join in the call to remove music from the service, Crosby responded on Twitter, “I no longer control it or I would in support of Neil.” Last March, the musician sold his catalog to Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group.
It’s unclear if Stephen Stills might join his CSNY compatriots in their Spotify protest, but others have quickly followed suit. On Friday, Joni Mitchell joined her longtime friend Young by removing her catalog from Spotify; her songs began to disappear from the platform on Saturday. Over the weekend, Crazy Horse and E Street Band member Nils Lofgren began pulling his music from the service as well. “As I write this letter, we’ve now gotten the last 27 years of my music taken off Spotify,” the guitarist wrote on the Neil Young Archives. “We are reaching out to the labels that own my earlier music to have it removed as well. We sincerely hope they honor our wishes, as Neil’s labels have done, his.”