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Joni Mitchell Removes Music From Spotify in Support of Neil Young Against Joe Rogan


Joni Mitchell

said she decided to remove all of her music from

Spotify Technology SA


SPOT 0.97%

in a move supporting

Neil Young’s

crusade against what he deems misinformation spread on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” the folk singer wrote on her website. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Spotify removed Mr. Young’s music on Wednesday after he wrote an open letter to his record label and management asking them to take it down in objection to Mr. Rogan’s podcast.

Ms. Mitchell, famous for her 1971 album “Blue,” linked to Mr. Young’s letter in her brief post. Mr. Young, the “Heart of Gold” and “Harvest Moon” singer said Spotify is spreading fake information about Covid-19 vaccines through Mr. Rogan’s show.

“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” Mr. Young wrote. He cited an episode of Mr. Rogan’s podcast in which the podcaster spoke with Dr. Robert Malone, a virologist who worked on research into several mRNA Covid-19 vaccines but who is now critical of the treatments. Among the claims made was the suggestion that hospitals have been financially motivated to falsely determine that deaths had been caused by Covid-19.

Earlier this month, a group of 270 scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter to Spotify accusing the podcast of “promoting baseless conspiracy theories” and asking the service to take action against mass-misinformation events on its platform.

While more than 40 of Mr. Rogan’s episodes have been removed for policy violations, none of them have been related to the pandemic, according to a person familiar with the matter.

While his initial letter has been removed from his website, Mr. Young has since posted more on the topic, encouraging other artists to join him.

Both Mr. Young and Ms. Mitchell are signed to

Warner Music Group Corp.

record labels, which license and distribute their music to streaming services including Spotify. The label made a request to take Ms. Mitchell’s music down, which can take several hours. The folk singers also have the same manager.

Ms. Mitchell, 78 years old, had 3.7 million monthly listeners and 1.1 million followers on Spotify.

“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,” a Spotify spokesman said Wednesday as Mr. Young’s music was coming down from the service. He said the company has detailed content policies and has removed over 20,000 Covid-19-related podcast episodes since the start of the pandemic.

Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com

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