The war on spotify for not censoring Joe Rogan’s ‘podcast’, which has given voice to denier and anti-vaccine theories, continues to grow with new supporters of the boycott campaign promoted by Neil Young. After removing his entire discography from the streaming platform, Joni Mitchell and Lloyd Cole joined him two days later, and this weekend he has a new ally: his bandmate Crazy Horse, Nils Logfren. Thus, the songs from the solo career of the also guitarist of the E. Street Band They will no longer be available on Spotify.
“I’m leaving Spotify for promote lies and misinformation that are harming and killing people,” says Logfren.
“When these heroic women and men (the health workers), who have spent their lives healing and saving ours, cry out for help, you don’t turn your back on them for money and power. They are listened to and supported. As I write this letter, we have already had the last 27 years of my music removed from Spotify. We are contacting the record companies that own my previous music to remove it as well. We sincerely hope that they will honor our wishes, as Neil’s labels have done theirs. We encourage all musicians, artists and music lovers around the world to join us and cut ties with Spotify.”
Spotify is taking the growth of this boycott seriously, as it has already reacted by publishing a revision of its rules that, despite not having satisfied the promoters of the boycott (“it is not enough”, they say), it could be a first step before giving in to their demands.
“A decade ago, we created Spotify to allow listeners around the world to listen to and enjoy the work of creators from around the world,” says the statement from the Swedish company, announcing the changes. “At our core, we believe that listening is everything. Choose almost any topic and you will find people and opinions on both sides. Personally, there many people and views on Spotify with which I disagree. We know we have a critical role to play in supporting creator expression while balancing it with the safety of our users. In that role, it is important for let’s not assume the position of being censors of content and, at the same time, make sure that there are rules and consequences for those who violate them. We’ve had a lot of questions over the past few days about our platform policies and the lines we’ve drawn between what’s acceptable and what’s not. We have had rules in place for many years, but it is true that we have not been transparent about the policies that guide our content more broadly. This, in turn, raised questions about its application to serious problems, including Covid-19. Based on feedback from the last few weeks, it is clear to us that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to information widely accepted opinion of the medical and scientific communities to guide us through this unprecedented time. These problems are incredibly complex. We have heard you, especially those in the medical and scientific communities, and we are taking the following steps:
– Today we are publishing our Platform Rules. These policies were developed by our internal team in collaboration with a number of external experts and are regularly updated to reflect the changing security landscape. These are rules of the road to guide all of our creators, from those we work with exclusively to those whose work is shared across multiple platforms. You can now find them in our newsroom and they will be permanently on the main Spotify website. They are being localized into multiple languages to help our users understand how Spotify evaluates all content on our platform.
– We are working to add a content notice to any podcast episode that includes a discussion of COVID-19. This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven data, up-to-date information shared by scientists, clinicians, academics, and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to reliable sources. This new effort to combat disinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind from a major podcast platform.
– We will also begin testing ways to highlight our Platform Rules in our creator and publisher tools, to raise awareness of what is acceptable and help creators understand their responsibility for the content they post on our platform. This is in addition to the terms that creators and publishers agree to govern the use of our services.”
Meanwhile, Apple Music, TIDAL, Deezer and Qobuz have already been quick to remind fans that they still have Young’s music, and SiriusXM has relaunched Neil Young Radio.