The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General has announced his backing for left-wing rocker Neil Young in his stand-off with podcaster Joe Rogan and music streaming behemoth Spotify.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that “we all have a role to play to end this pandemic and infodemic” – in particular on social media platforms.
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The move came after Spotify started to pull Youngs work from its platform following his demand the company either remove his music or blacklist Joe Rogan and his popular podcast.
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Referring to podcasts by Joe Rogan hosted by Spotify, Young said: “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Spotify swiftly made its choice which triggered an almighty storm over anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, cancel culture and the policing of social media.
Brietbart reports: W.H.O. chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has now entered the fray. He announced he backed the veteran musician and thanked him for “standing up against misinformation and inaccuracies” around Covid vaccinations before stressing “we all have a role to play to end this pandemic and infodemic.”
“@NeilYoungNYA, thanks for standing up against misinformation and inaccuracies around #COVID19 vaccination,” Tedros tweeted.
“Public and private sector, in particular #socialmedia platforms, media, individuals — we all have a role to play to end this pandemic and infodemic.”
The Joe Rogan Experience is the top-rated podcast on Spotify, which holds exclusive rights to the program.
On Wednesday, Young thanked his record label for “standing with me in my decision to pull all my music from Spotify”, and encouraged other musicians to do the same, as Breitbart News reported.
“Spotify has become the home of life-threatening COVID misinformation,” he said on his website.
In response, Spotify said it worked to balance “both safety for listeners and freedom for creators” and had removed more than 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19, in accordance with its “detailed content policies”.
“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon,” Spotify said in a statement.
The intervention by the W.H.O. chief in the Neil Young dispute is not the first time Tedros has rushed to embrace the entertainment industry.
Lady Gaga applauded him in 2020 after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. will pause funding of the U.N. body over its bungled handling of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
Tedros was quick to reply on social media by citing the approval for his work by entertainer Lady Gaga.