Neil Young and Joni Mitchell Are Not Censoring Joe Rogan

powered by Surfing Waves

Leftists are going ballistic over the Joe Rogan dustup at Spotify. After Rogan had a guest on his show that expounded COVID-19 viewpoints that go against what the government likes, singer Neil Young announced that he was pulling his songs from Spotify to protest what Rogan had done. He was followed by singer Joni Mitchell, who announced the same thing with respect to her songs.

This has caused leftists to decry “Censorship!” on the part of Young and Mitchell. But it isn’t censorship. It’s instead how things are handled in a free society. 

The only entity that is capable of engaging in censorship is the government. When the government prohibits people from expounding a particular point of view or punishes them for doing so, it is engaging in censorship. 

Licensed under Creative Commons.

On the other hand, when a private entity refuses to permit a particular point of view from being expounded on its platform — be it radio, television, a newspaper, a website, a podcast, or whatever — it is not engaging in censorship. It is instead exercising the rights that come with private ownership of property. 

Suppose, for example, Spotify issued a directive to Rogan stating that he could not have guests on his show that question or challenge mask mandates or mandatory vaccinations. No matter how much leftists would decry that as “censorship,” it would be nothing of the sort. Instead, it would be a private entity deciding how it wants its privately owned platform to be run.

If singers don’t like Spotify’s policy, they are free to have their songs removed from its platform as a form of protest. Again, they are not engaging in censorship. They are exercising their right as private owners of their music.

By the same token, if consumers don’t like Spotify’s policies, they are free to not subscribe to Spotify. That’s their right as consumers and as the owners of their money. They can take their business elsewhere, in which case Spotify loses market share and, presumably, advertising revenue. 

Once again, as much as leftists will decry “censorship” when consumers decide to take their business elsewhere, it is nothing of the sort. It’s the way things are handled in a free market. Under principles of private property and economic liberty, businesses are free to run their affairs the way they want. By the same token, consumers are free to do what they want with their own money. 

It’s entirely possible that consumer boycotts might induce a business to change its policies. Again, that’s how matters work in a free society. Thus, it’s possible that Spotify might decide to place a higher value on Young’s and Mitchell’s music than on Rogan’s healthcare views (or the views of his guests), in which case Spotify might tell Rogan that he (and his guests) can no longer expound “unacceptable” views on COVID-19. If that were to happen, Spotify would not be “censoring” Rogan. Instead, it would simply be running its operation the way it wants.

What if the government were to order Spotify to get rid of Rogan for having a guest on his show that expounded views that were unacceptable to government officials? In that case, the government would be engaging in censorship. If Spotify were to follow the government’s order, it would still be the government, not Spotify, that would be engaging in censorship. As a private entity, Spotify would simply be following the government’s orders.

The dustup at Spotify reminds us of how leftists, who normally detest the libertarian principles of private property, free markets, and economic enterprise, oftentimes go astray when it comes to civil liberties. It’s only governments that censor. What’s happening at Spotify is what private-property rights and economic freedom are all about. 

The post Neil Young and Joni Mitchell Are Not Censoring Joe Rogan appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

* This article was originally published here

powered by Surfing Waves


SHARE our articles and like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

Post a Comment