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Joe Rogan Podcast Causes More Problems for Spotify

Neil Young reportedly demands his music be removed from Spotify in the latest controversy involving Joe Rogan.
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It looks like Rogan, Spotify  (SPOT) - Get Spotify Technology SA Report and Young might be breaking up.

In the latest controversy involving commentator and comedian, Joe Rogan, rock icon Neil Young has reportedly asked his managers and record label to remove his music from the streaming giant due to vaccine misinformation spread on the Rogan's podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience."

'They Can Have Rogan or Young. Not Both'

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young wrote in a since-deleted post on his website, according to Rolling Stone. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

"I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform," Young said in Monday's post. "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both."

Young added that "Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy,

Young’s manager, Frank Gironda, confirmed to The Daily Beast that the “Heart of Gold” singer had published the letter on Monday. “It’s something that’s really important to Neil,” Gironda said. “He’s very upset about this disinformation.”

“We’re trying to figure this out right now,” he said.

Earlier this month, a coalition of 270 doctors, nurses and scientists wrote to Spotify complaining about Rogan's podcast promoting baseless conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Joe Rogan Experience" has ranked as Spotify's most popular podcast globally for the last two years.

An episode featuring doctor Robert Malone on Dec. 31, which went viral, was criticized for pushing anti-vax misinformation. Malone had been banned from Twitter for promoting Covid-19 misinformation.

"He has discouraged vaccination in young people and children, incorrectly claimed that mRNA vaccines are “gene therapy,” promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 (contrary to FDA warnings), and spread a number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories," the letter said.

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The open letter urged Spotify to take action against the mass-misinformation events on its platform.

'I'm a F-cking Moron'

Rogan announced in 2020 that he was taking his podcast to Spotify in a deal valued at $100 million and he has been no stranger to controversy.

Among other things, Rogan, who said in September that he tested positive for Covid-19, has claimed young and healthy people don't need to be vaccinated. He also promoted taking ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned against it.

Rogan later said "I am not an anti-vax person."

"I am not a doctor. I am a f--ing moron," said Rogan, who also does commentary for the UFC. "I am a cage-fighting commentator... I am not a respected source of information even for me. But I at least try to be honest about what I am saying.”

Two years ago, Spotify employees complained about Rogan's transphobic comments. Rogan had interviewed Abigail Shrier, author of the book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.

The company held an-all hands meeting where Spotify CEO Daniel Ek reportedly defended keeping the transphobic content, Vice reported.

Spotify did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it has claimed it bans "dangerous false, deceptive, or misleading content about COVID-19 that may cause offline harm and/or pose a direct threat to public health," according to National Public Radio.

The company says it has taken down 20,000 podcast episodes for breaking that policy since the start of the pandemic. 

It has also taken down other episodes of Rogan's show, including an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The Malone interview is still available.

Last month Rogan cancelled his show in Vancouver due to the vaccine mandates in the Canadian province. 

"I’m not vaccinated," Rogan said on his podcast. "I’m not gonna get vaccinated. I have antibodies, it doesn’t make any sense.”