Graham Nash has joined his former bandmate Neil Young by removing his music from Spotify in a growing artist-driven protest over what they call misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines being shared by podcast host Joe Rogan.
Nash, 80, is the latest in a growing number of artists, including Joni Mitchell, E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren and most recently India Arie, who have all requested to have their music removed from streaming platform in unison with Young and in opposition of comments made on Rogan’s Spotify podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.
“Having heard the Covid disinformation spread by Joe Rogan on Spotify” said Nash in a statement, I completely agree with and support my friend Neil Young and I am requesting that my solo recordings be removed from the service.”
On Jan. 26, Young requested that his music be removed from Spotify if the streaming platform wanted to keep Rogan, who he said was sharing “fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”
The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young singer and guitarist, who also co-founded the 1960s pop group the Hollies, said that the opinions being shared on Rogan’s show are “dishonest and unsupported by solid facts” and that Spotify is an enabler, cos people their lives.
Nash added, “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. 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.”
Spotify has responded to the backlash by adding added content advisories to podcasts discussing COVID-19. Rogan also issued a statement defending his guest’s opinions but also stating that he is open to adding guests with more diverse opinions moving forward.
“It should also be acknowledged that many younger musicians, and many musicians of all ages, rely on platforms like this to gain exposure to a wider audience and share their music with the world,” added Nash. “Not everyone is able to take steps like this which is all the more reason that platforms like Spotify must be more responsible and accountable for the content they are obligated to moderate for the good of the public at large.”