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The current Spotify controversy


RussTCB

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I just read that Foo Fighters may follow Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in having their music removed from Spotify over Joe Rogan. 

I put this Anything Goes instead of My World on purpose because I think there's a much broader point to this than just certain musicians or artists. 

Personally, I couldn't care less about Joe Rogan but I happen to be a big fan of free speech, so this whole thing is bothersome to me. 

What is everyone else's thoughts? 

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I don’t really count it as free speech because Spotify is a company and can put who they want on it and vice versa. I probably would have had a very different opinion a year and a half ago , but now that vaccines are out and pretty damn good about keeping you out of the hospital- I am less COVID- crazy. At this point, if you don’t trust the vaccines you are just an idiot and that is that. Get your booster, and chances are you are good. We were never going to get enough people to get the shot, anyways. The virus is too widespread, too infectious, and there are just too many people on the planet. The second this thing went global we were boned. Frankly, I think it’s a miracle we have what we have and that we can make the choice to get protection. I know there are people that still don’t have vaccine access or are immunocompromised, but that would always be an issue since we can’t fully eradicate the virus.

I don’t give a shit if people get their rocks off on Joe Rogan and if they want to listen to this shit, whatever. People gulp up Fox News, OAN, etc. Every major media outlet is compromised with greed and bias, now. What is Spotify going to do?  Now Spotify is putting a warning on idiot podcasts so I guess, yay? 

I just think the whole thing is stupid. Neil Young removes his music from Spotify and then tells people to go on freaking Amazon Music… fucking lol. So out of touch and hypocritical. 

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32 minutes ago, ZoSoRose said:

I don’t really count it as free speech because Spotify is a company and can put who they want on it and vice versa. I probably would have had a very different opinion a year and a half ago , but now that vaccines are out and pretty damn good about keeping you out of the hospital- I am less COVID- crazy. At this point, if you don’t trust the vaccines you are just an idiot and that is that. Get your booster, and chances are you are good. We were never going to get enough people to get the shot, anyways. The virus is too widespread, too infectious, and there are just too many people on the planet. The second this thing went global we were boned. Frankly, I think it’s a miracle we have what we have and that we can make the choice to get protection. I know there are people that still don’t have vaccine access or are immunocompromised, but that would always be an issue since we can’t fully eradicate the virus.

I don’t give a shit if people get their rocks off on Joe Rogan and if they want to listen to this shit, whatever. People gulp up Fox News, OAN, etc. Every major media outlet is compromised with greed and bias, now. What is Spotify going to do?  Now Spotify is putting a warning on idiot podcasts so I guess, yay? 

I just think the whole thing is stupid. Neil Young removes his music from Spotify and then tells people to go on freaking Amazon Music… fucking lol. So out of touch and hypocritical. 

My thing is similar. I just feel like you can't just say "I disagree with this other person, so they have to go". 

And yeah, literally none of the other options are good either if artists are looking to push listeners to "good" companies, so I agree that him pushing people to Amazon is hypocritical. 

20 minutes ago, Mansin Humanity said:

this is absolutely nowhere near a free speech issue

How is it not a free speech issue? 

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28 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

My thing is similar. I just feel like you can't just say "I disagree with this other person, so they have to go". 

And yeah, literally none of the other options are good either if artists are looking to push listeners to "good" companies, so I agree that him pushing people to Amazon is hypocritical. 

How is it not a free speech issue? 

Because it doesn’t involve the government. The first amendment is limited to government interference, not private interference.  Young, Mitchell and others aren’t demanding Rogan stop making his show.  Should Spotify no longer carry and support the show Rogan would still be free to make and promote it elsewhere. It would only be a free speech issue if Young was demanding the US government get involve and shut Rogan down.

This is a freedom of association issue. Young doesn’t want to be associated with a company that is profiting from content that is killing people.  I don’t see the problem here.

I think the issue here is content, not a rights or freedom issue. If Rogan tomorrow started promoting Nazi ideology, would anyone have an issue with what Young is doing?  Rogan would still be exercising his ability to say what he wants, but now the content is something that most people disagree with. For Young, Rogan’s promotion of anti-vax ideas crosses a line similar to if Rogan started espousing Nazi ideology. And I’m not saying the two are equal. But for the purposes of demonstrating how this isn’t a free speech issue, examine how the response would be if the content of the speech was over everyone’s line. 

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5 minutes ago, downzy said:

Because it doesn’t involve the government. The first amendment is limited to government interference, not private interference.  Young, Mitchell and others aren’t demanding Rogan stop making his show.  Should Spotify no longer carry and support the show Rogan would still be free to make and promote it elsewhere. It would only be a free speech issue if Young was demanding the US government get involve and shut Rogan down.

This is a freedom of association issue. Young doesn’t want to be associated with a company that is profiting from content that is killing people.  I don’t see the problem here.

I think the issue here is content, not a rights or freedom issue. If Rogan tomorrow started promoting Nazi ideology, would anyone have an issue with what Young is doing?  Rogan would still be exercising his ability to say what he wants, but now the content is something that most people disagree with. For Young, Rogan’s promotion of anti-vax ideas crosses a line similar to if Rogan started espousing Nazi ideology. And I’m not saying the two are equal. But for the purposes of demonstrating how this isn’t a free speech issue, examine how the response would be if the content of the speech was over everyone’s line. 

"I'm not saying the two are equal" but isn't that exactly what you're saying if you're comparing the two? 

And yes, Neil Young so essentially trying to stop Rogan from making his show. Because today it's Spotify, then if he (Young) wins that battle, it's on to the next platform and on to the next after that. Essentially de-platforming someone out of existence for having a different opinion.

I cannot stress enough that I'm not a fan of Joe Rogan. To my knowledge, I've never heard 1 minute of his show. I'm in different to Neil Young and always have been. Not that being a fan should matter or not, but I wanted to mention it again so no one thinks I'm just so Rogan fan or Young hater. 

As I've said before, I try hard not to be involved in politics so I started the thread because I'm genuinely curious what others opinions on the matter are. 

I'm genuinely surprised that the fact that this is a free speech issue is even a debate. To me, this reads as such: a guy had some people on his show that said some things people don't agree with. Then Neil Young said that show has to be de-platformed.

And again, if Neil Young is concerned with having his music associated with companies that profit from killing, he has a lot more companies to worry about than Spotify. 

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18 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

I'm not saying the two are equal" but isn't that exactly what you're saying if you're comparing the two

No.  It’s a parallel to demonstrate how it’s not a free speech issue. If Rogan can’t be canceled because what he says about vaccines due to free speech concerns, he shouldn’t be canceled if he promoted, say, KKK opinions. If Rogan tomorrow said that America should be a white country only, isn’t that his right to say so?  Would you then take issue if Roger Waters demanded Spotify remove Rogan or lose Pink Floyd’s discography?  It’s a matter of principle. 

18 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

Neil Young so essentially trying to stop Rogan from making his show. Because today it's Spotify, then if he (Young) wins that battle, it's on to the next platform and on to the next after that. Essentially de-platforming someone out of existence for having a different opinion.

Are you sure about that?  Young is on record saying Spotify could have him or Rogan, not both.  If Rogan then moved to another platform where Young isn’t (like Rumble), do you think Young is still complaining to Rumble?

This is a slippery slope argument without much proof to support it.

18 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

To me, this reads as such: a guy had some people on his show that said some things people don't agree with. Then Neil Young said that show has to be de-platformed.

But that’s not really a fair assessment. Rogan had people on who said stuff that is verifiably untrue with little or no push back by Rogan. And the stuff that’s not true is information that’s killing people. Literally.  There have been studies that demonstrate how most of the misinformation around vaccines and covid come from and get spread by very few places, with Rogan’s show being one of them.  You know very well that we never allowed unsubstantiated info about GNR get promoted on this forum because we view it as our responsibility not to help promote falsehoods and people looking for attention.  And we did that with something as unimportant as GNR info. Rogan has failed this responsibility with info that is actually killing people. 

18 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

And again, if Neil Young is concerned with having his music associated with companies that profit from killing, he has a lot more companies to worry about than Spotify.

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1 minute ago, downzy said:

No.  It’s a parallel to demonstrate how it’s not a free speech issue. If Rogan can’t be canceled because what he says about vaccines because of free speech concerns, he shouldn’t be canceled if he promoted, say, KKK opinions. If Rogan tomorrow said that America should be a white country only, isn’t that his right to say so?  Would you then take issue if Roger Waters demanded Spotify remove Rogan or lose Pink Floyd’s discography?  It’s a matter of principle. 

Are you sure about that?  Young is on record saying Spotify could have him or Rogan, not both.  If Rogan then moved to another platform where Young isn’t (like Rumble), do you think Young is still complaining to Rumble?

This is a slippery slope argument without much proof to support it.

But that’s not really a fair assessment. Rogan had people on who said stuff that is verifiably untrue with little or no push back by Rogan. And the stuff that’s not true is information that’s killing people. Literally.  There have been studies that demonstrate how most of the misinformation around vaccines and covid come from and get spread by very few places, with Rogan’s show being one of them.  You know very well that we never allowed unsubstantiated info about GNR get promoted on this forum because we view it as our responsibility not to help promote falsehoods and people looking for attention.  And we did that with something as unimportant as GNR info. Rogan has failed this responsibility with info that is actually killing people. 

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I don't get how bringing something unrelated into it just makes your argument valid. I'm not concerned with Rogan saying the US should be white only because that's not what he said. 

Roger Waters has plenty of political opinions I disagree with and he's also not part of this particular issue as of yet. Again, it has nothing to do with who I'm a fan of, or not. 

As far as what gets posted on this forum, that's far different from going around stopping people from posting whatever they want to on other forums. 

As far as the last point, there's no way you don't actually think many other companies that profit from Neil Youngs music aren't also associated with causing death, so I'm not going to bother going down that road. 

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11 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

I don't get how bringing something unrelated into it just makes your argument valid. I'm not concerned with Rogan saying the US should be white only because that's not what he said. 

Roger Waters has plenty of political opinions I disagree with and he's also not part of this particular issue as of yet. Again, it has nothing to do with who I'm a fan of, or not. 

It’s an example to demonstrate how this isn’t a free speech argument or issue. If it was then Rogan should be allowed to say whatever wants (short of speech that will direct physical harm) and no one would have any place to complain about it.  I’m using other examples to demonstrate why it’s not a free speech issue. It’s a freedom of association issue. Young is free to associate with who he wants. He does not want to be associated with a company that profits from misinformation that’s killing people. Why is that a problem?

 

18 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

As far as what gets posted on this forum, that's far different from going around stopping people from posting whatever they want to on other forums. 

And the same applies with Rogan. Freedom of speech does not guarantee broad distribution via a major tech company. There’s nothing stopping Rogan from broadcasting his show elsewhere should he get the boot from Spotify.  He could move to Rumble. He could self-host. He could move to Soundcloud.  Losing his employment from Spotify is not equivalent to one’s ability to speak. 

21 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

As far as the last point, there's no way you don't actually think many other companies that profit from Neil Youngs music aren't also associated with causing death, so I'm not going to bother going down that road. 

The only one I could think of is maybe Amazon. They might still sell anti-vax books through its third-party marketplace platform. Maybe Young isn’t aware of this. Or maybe he feels that Rogan poses an outside effect on promoting harmful info that warrants his actions. 

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1 hour ago, RussTCB said:

 How is it not a free speech issue? 

Downzy covered it mostly but if Joe Biden or whoever said, you know, I agree with Neil! Spotify, you're shut down until Joe Rogan is off the platform or hey Joe Rogan, you're banned from all hosting services, then we're talking freedom of speech.

There's no rule saying that Joe Rogan must be allowed on Spotify

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12 minutes ago, downzy said:

It’s an example to demonstrate how this isn’t a free speech argument or issue. If it was then Rogan should be allowed to say whatever wants (short of speech that will direct physical harm) and no one would have any place to complain about it.  I’m using other examples to demonstrate why it’s not a free speech issue. It’s a freedom of association issue. Young is free to associate with who he wants. He does not want to be associated with a company that profits from misinformation that’s killing people. Why is that a problem?

 

And the same applies with Rogan. Freedom of speech does not guarantee broad distribution via a major tech company. There’s nothing stopping Rogan from broadcasting his show elsewhere should he get the boot from Spotify.  He could move to Rumble. He could self-host. He could move to Soundcloud.  Losing his employment from Spotify is not equivalent to one’s ability to speak. 

The only one I could think of is maybe Amazon. They might still sell anti-vax books through its third-party marketplace platform. Maybe Young isn’t aware of this. Or maybe he feels that Rogan poses an outside effect on promoting harmful info that warrants his actions. 

 

5 minutes ago, Mansin Humanity said:

Downzy covered it mostly but if Joe Biden or whoever said, you know, I agree with Neil! Spotify, you're shut down until Joe Rogan is off the platform or hey Joe Rogan, you're banned from all hosting services, then we're talking freedom of speech.

There's no rule saying that Joe Rogan must be allowed on Spotify

I guess I don't understand how you both don't see what a slippery slope this is. 

To me, the message Neil Young is spending is loud and clear: if I disagree with you, you shouldn't be allowed to have a platform. 

Once more for clarification; I am not a fan of Joe Rogan. 

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13 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

 

I guess I don't understand how you both don't see what a slippery slope this is. 

To me, the message Neil Young is spending is loud and clear: if I disagree with you, you shouldn't be allowed to have a platform. 

Once more for clarification; I am not a fan of Joe Rogan. 

Agree.  Especially if Spotify end up cancelling Rogan.

It's a tricky one, because the artists also have the right to exercise their free speech and remove themselves from a platform that supports Rogan.

You can see where this is going though.

Artists removing themselves until Dixie Chicks (or other Republican artists are removed) etc etc.

Basically if Rogan gets cancelled - it will just get political like everything else, with the left getting the right removed.

 

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20 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

I guess I don't understand how you both don't see what a slippery slope this is. 

A slippery slope isn’t fact. If you’re claiming that Rogan loses his right or ability to do his show because he loses his Spotify deal, you have to provide proof of that happening elsewhere.  Consider that Rogan’s good buddy Alex Jones can still do his show and find an audience online, it’s a hard to buy that Rogan losing Spotify means Rogan is done period. He has 11 million listeners. They’ll follow him wherever he ends up.

 

20 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

To me, the message Neil Young is spending is loud and clear: if I disagree with you, you shouldn't be allowed to have a platform. 

That’s not what he’s saying. He doesn’t want to be on the same platform as Rogan. I’m sure Young wouldn’t be too upset if Rogan packed things up completely, but you’re putting words in Young’s mouth with these kinds of claims. He’s not stating that the Internet is too small for both him Joe, just Spotify. 

But don’t you think freedom of speech also comes with consequences?  If Rogan wasn’t platforming wildly irresponsible people, nobody would care.  But he is a major source of info that’s making life worse for a lot of people.  It’s not Young’s fault for wanting to hold Spotify to account for what Rogan is doing. 

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11 minutes ago, downzy said:

A slippery slope isn’t fact. If you’re claiming that Rogan loses his right or ability to do his show because he loses his Spotify deal, you have to provide proof of that happening elsewhere.  Consider that Rogan’s good buddy Alex Jones can still do his show and find an audience online, it’s a hard to buy that Rogan losing Spotify means Rogan is done period. He has 11 million listeners. They’ll follow him wherever he ends up.

 

That’s not what he’s saying. He doesn’t want to be on the same platform as Rogan. I’m sure Young wouldn’t be too upset if Rogan packed things up completely, but you’re putting words in Young’s mouth with these kinds of claims. He’s not stating that the Internet is too small for both him Joe, just Spotify. 

But don’t you think freedom of speech also comes with consequences?  If Rogan wasn’t platforming wildly irresponsible people, nobody would care.  But he is a major source of info that’s making life worse for a lot of people.  It’s not Young’s fault for wanting to hold Spotify to account for what Rogan is doing. 

Neil Young said they can have Joe Rogan or Neil Young. I didn't put any words in his mouth. That's what he said. 

You seriously believe this is just a Spotify thing? You really don't think they (Neil Young and whomever else) wouldn't just move on to other platforms once they win that battle? 

I can't stress enough that I'm just asking questions here. I'm not trying to be hostile, I just honestly find it hard to believe that you really think this would stop at one platform. 

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I do think to an extent it's just a Spotify thing because a big deal was made of Joe Rogan signing on to bring his podcast and thus his large fanbase to the platform. I guess I just don't see the connection from Neil Young saying he doesn't want to be a part of a club with Joe Rogan as a member to Joe Rogan's free speech rights being threatened because in no way, shape, or form is he being forbidden from saying what he wants to say.

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24 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

Neil Young said they can have Joe Rogan or Neil Young. I didn't put any words in his mouth. That's what he said. 

When he said “they” do you think he was talking about Spotify or the internet as a whole?

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25 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

You seriously believe this is just a Spotify thing? You really don't think they (Neil Young and whomever else) wouldn't just move on to other platforms once they win that battle? 

Depends if Neil Young is on those other platforms.  Understand that most people subscribe and listen to Spotify because of legacy acts like Young. He and artists like him are what bring people to Spotify. 70 percent of the songs played are from old songs.  He does not want to be part of a company that leverages his songs as a gateway to someone like Rogan. This is far more about Spotify than it is Rogan. 

27 minutes ago, RussTCB said:

I can't stress enough that I'm just asking questions here. I'm not trying to be hostile, I just honestly find it hard to believe that you really think this would stop at one platform. 

There are plenty of platforms that Young isn’t on.  There’s no evidence to suggest that Young is going after companies that he has no business relationships with over Rogan. 

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11 minutes ago, downzy said:

When he said “they” do you think he was talking about Spotify or the internet as a whole?

He said "they" meaning Spotify, in this instance. I'm more concerned with where it goes after that. 

6 minutes ago, downzy said:

There are worse offenders than Joe Rogan. I don’t see Young going after them and their ability to broadcast. 

I agree, there are far worse offenders than Rogan. I would guess Young picked Rogan because he's the biggest name and that would grab the biggest headlines. 

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Spotify can host whoever they want and Neil Young can remove his music from there if he wants. I don't get the impression Spotify wants to remove Rogan which isn't surprising seeing as he is insanely popular as an interviewer and they shelled out about 100 mil for him. I don't really agree with trying to hold Spotify to some kind of ransom via social media which may or may not work depending on how many artists join in.

I suppose my main concern is where it leads, a lot of these artists themselves are not unproblematic for one reason or another -  Spotify still has R Kelly's music on there as an example so if anyone should be removed... I'm not really advocating for that though because of the danger it might spiral and end up where by 2030 I can only listen to Choral Music or The Wiggles. :P

Something else to bear in mind is the back story of music artists already being v unhappy with Spotify over the astronomical Rogan purchase because they allegedly pay a pittance in royalties so possibly some will see it as a way to stick the boot in or create leverage.

It's kind of a weird flex from Neil who once did a tour called The Freedom of Speech Tour and has been outspoken about stuff himself. It's also little bit stones/glasshouses although he quite possibly has changed his opinions since the 80s when he had some unpleasant things to say about AIDS. Ditto Sebastian Bach who I think also waded in to defend Neil. Makes you realise Axl is pretty smart to just shut the hell up about any sort of social justice/cultural topic these days.

Maybe Neil feels strongly about it because of his polio experience as a child, which would make sense, but we can't discount a prior grudge with Spotify or that he has a new tour soon.

http://www.tunesdujour.com/neil-youngs-homophobia-aids-phobia/

Joni Mitchell though and her whole Morgellons thing is not far removed from some of the stuff on the JRE :blink: I reckon he'd like to have her as a guest. :lol:

“I have this weird, incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space,” she says of her illness in the book, the DM reports. “Morgellons is a slow, unpredictable killer — a terrorist disease: it will blow up one of your organs, leaving you in bed for a year. … Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral.”

 

 

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2 hours ago, RussTCB said:

He said "they" meaning Spotify, in this instance. I'm more concerned with where it goes after that. 

Okay, that’s fair.  I’m not a fan of Rogan in the slightest but I don’t believe he should be prevented from doing what he wants to do.

There’s also some context here that needs to be considered. Two or three weeks prior to Young making his feelings known a letter was written by 270 doctors and health professionals calling on Spotify to do something about the steady flow of misinformation that’s coming from Joe’s show. Spotify essentially ignored the letter and did nothing in response. Young’s actions are a response to Spotify failing to acknowledge the concerns of experts who have first hand experience with the misinformation and how it makes their lives, and the lives if all of us, harder.

2 hours ago, RussTCB said:

I agree, there are far worse offenders than Rogan. I would guess Young picked Rogan because he's the biggest name and that would grab the biggest headlines. 

Maybe. But while Rogan isn’t the worst offender in terms of spreading the worst information, he does have the biggest platform.  Those who have studied this stuff say that Rogan’s show, because of the number of people he reaches, is causing more harm than some random asshole who says worse shit but has a smaller audience.  As I said, misinformation that gets promoted and seen by many don’t come from a lot of places or people.  There’s a concentrated number of people who drive a lot of misinformation, with Rogan being one of them. 

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14 hours ago, alfierose said:

I don't get the impression Spotify wants to remove Rogan which isn't surprising seeing as he is insanely popular as an interviewer and they shelled out about 100 mil for him.

Yeah, that was never going to happen, and I think Neil knew this.

14 hours ago, alfierose said:

I don't really agree with trying to hold Spotify to some kind of ransom via social media which may or may not work depending on how many artists join in

I understand why people don’t like the strategy. It was never going to work. Young has his own streaming service or sorts, something few other artists have to fall back on. I get the criticism of those who say that Neil could have done this quietly and without a public ultimatum. He could have told Spotify that he was out privately. But I think then it’s just an argument over semantics at that point.  Because what would have followed would be the same result.  People would have asked Neil why he pulled his music, he would have told them it was because Spotify failed to do anything about the bullshit coming from Rogan, and you kind of end up in the same place, minus the public ultimatum.

I do think the ultimatum actually accomplished something. Spotify announced it was including public warnings about covid-19 and vaccinated content. Even Rogan came out this morning to acknowledge that he’ll make more of an effort to filter out horseshit (though why he wasn’t doing that from the get go is another discussion). It brought a lot of attention and public discussion around the responsibilities of people like Rogan and companies like Spotify.  In many ways Young’s actions have been far more effective than I thought they would be. I have friends who were or still are Rogan listeners who finally have started to see my perspective about why Rogan is not a net positive for humanity. Again, I have no issue with Rogan as a person or someone who wants to do an interview show. My issue here is that too many people view him as a viable news source. Young’s stand has, I’d argue, helped or allowed some to step back from that opinion.

14 hours ago, alfierose said:

I suppose my main concern is where it leads, a lot of these artists themselves are not unproblematic for one reason or another -  Spotify still has R Kelly's music on there as an example so if anyone should be removed... I'm not really advocating for that though because of the danger it might spiral and end up where by 2030 I can only listen to Choral Music or The Wiggles. 

And truthfully Young isn’t the perfect messenger either. He has a history of promoting junk arguments when it comes to GMO foods.

Again, I don’t think his goal here was to actually get Rogan removed from Spotify. I think Neil is smart enough to know that the $100 million man ain’t going anywhere. But from his “demand” he’s sparked some action and a lot of attention and discussion. You could argue that Young ultimately won even if he’a no longer on Spotify. 

14 hours ago, alfierose said:

Something else to bear in mind is the back story of music artists already being v unhappy with Spotify over the astronomical Rogan purchase because they allegedly pay a pittance in royalties so possibly some will see it as a way to stick the boot in or create leverage.

This has a lot to do with it. There’s a recent article in The Atlantic that talks about how 70 percent of the music listened to on Spotify is old music. Legacy and iconic acts are what bring the subscribers but they get little in return (well, relatively speaking).  It has to be a bit galling to see relatively small pat checks coming in from Spotify knowing your catalogue is part of the reason people pay Spotify and then see Rogan ink a $100 million deal.  Especially if you survived Polio and some guy on a platform you help to populate is having anti-vax guests spew nonsense. 

 

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Here's one other thing and I promise I don't have a tin foil hat on right now BUT I also think it's interesting that Neil Young in particular has tried and failed to get his own streaming platforms off the ground. 

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