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Music icon joins Neil Young in severing ties with Spotify

Joni Mitchell is seeking to remove all of her music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young, who sparked a protest against the streaming service for airing a podcast featuring a personality who spread false information about the coronavirus.

Mitchell, who like Young is a California-based songwriter who enjoyed much of her success in the 1970s, is the first high-profile musician to join Young’s effort.

“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people’s lives,” Mitchell said in a post on his website.

“I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Following Young’s action this week, Spotify said it had policies in place to remove misleading content from its platform and removed more than 20,000 Covid-19-related podcast episodes since the start. of the pandemic.

But the service said nothing about comedian Joe Rogan, whose The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is the centerpiece of the controversy. Last month, Rogan interviewed on his podcast Dr Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist who was banned from Twitter for spreading misinformation about Covid.

Rogan is one of the streaming service’s biggest stars, with a deal that could earn him more than NZ$152 million.

Young had appealed to other artists to support him following his action. Although Mitchell, 78, is not a current hitmaker, the Canadian native’s Spotify page said she has 3.7 million monthly listeners for her music. His songs “Big Yellow Taxi” and “A Case of You” have both been streamed over 100 million times on the service.

In a post on his website on Friday, Young said that “when I left Spotify I felt better.”

“Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to support my music on a platform that spreads harmful information,” he wrote.

“I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with frontline healthcare workers who risk their lives every day to help others.”

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from Spotify.