Joni Mitchell has joined Neil Young in having her music catalog pulled from Spotify due to concerns about the platform’s guidelines on vaccine misinformation. Mitchell announced the move in a note posted to her website on Friday.
“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,” wrote the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter. “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.”
In her statement, Mitchell pointed to an open letter signed by over 270 scientists, medical professionals, professors, and science communicators last month which called on the platform to establish a “clear and public policy to moderate misinformation.”
This open letter came just after the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) aired episode #1757 of its Spotify-exclusive podcast featuring Dr. Robert Malone. Those who signed the open letter criticized the episode “for promoting baseless conspiracy theories” and alleged that “the JRE has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Just a few days before Mitchell made her announcement, Neil Young made a statement of intent to Spotify in a since-deleted open letter of his own, telling the platform that he would remove his music if Joe Rogan’s content remained. By Thursday, Young had directed his label, Warner Brothers/Reprise Records, to take his music off the platform—though some of his works will remain indefinitely due to legal red tape.
In response to Neil’s action, Spotify responded with a statement of its own: “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 since the start of the pandemic.”
“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify,” the service added, “but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Spotify has yet to respond to Joni Mitchell taking her music off of the platform. At press time, several of her albums remain, including 2007’s Shine, 1991’s Night Ride Home, and more. Head to Mitchell’s website to read the full statement.