Yesterday, singer-songwriter Neil Young asked streaming giant Spotify to remove his music from their service because Young did not want his art featured on the same platform used by podcaster Joe Rogan. Young’s argument is that Rogan’s constant questioning of vaccine science and promotion of half-baked vaccination theories was harmful to his listeners. Unsurprisingly, Spotify went with Rogan, whose show is a huge draw for them, and took Neil Young’s music off of the service. Now, Disturbed frontman David Draiman has come out in support of Spotify, claiming that Young is attempting to silence free speech.
As reported by Blabbermouth, Young released a since-deleted online statement decrying The Joe Rogan Experience for peddling misinformation and asking Spotify to take off his music: “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both. With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
Spotify, well aware of which side their bread is buttered on, released the following statement after removing Neil Young’s music: “We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
In response to this, Disturbed’s David Draiman tweeted at Spotify’s chief executive Daniel Ek, writing, “@eldsjal I applaud you and @Spotify for making the RIGHT call, preserving #FreeSpeech and not capitulating to the mob. I may not agree with everything @joerogan or his guests say, but they’re entitled to have the forum to say it.”
@eldsjal I applaud you and @Spotify for making the RIGHT call, preserving #FreeSpeech and not capitulating to the mob. I may not agree with everything @joerogan or his guests say, but they’re entitled to have the forum to say it.
— David Draiman (@davidmdraiman) January 27, 2022
Words by Chris Krovatin