Almost two years Years after pulling his music from Spotify due to COVID vaccine misinformation on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Neil Young has decided to stop using X (formerly known as Twitter) because of Elon Musk’s recent anti-Semitic statements.
“We are stopping all use of X that we can control,” Young wrote in the Neil Young Archives. “For reasons that should be obvious to the richest man on the planet, we are taking this action against his company.” (The post also included a photo of Musk with a caption that read “Teslas should fly flags of love – not hate.”)
He closed with an appeal to the people, “our many Palestinian friends” and “our many Jewish friends.” “We need to start over in the present and release our terrible connections to the past,” Young wrote. “As bad as they are, they need to be forgotten so that we can be free to move forward in life together, all of humanity, focused on saving our planet for future generations of all people.”
Young’s crusade against Spotify inspired Joni Mitchel to remove her music from the streaming service, but few other major artists followed suit. “I’m so sorry they feel that way,” Rogan said in response to Young’s boycott. “I certainly don’t want that. I’m a fan of Neil Young. I’ve always been a fan of Neil Young.”
In 2015, Young took on the agrochemical company Monsanto in his protest album The Monsanto years. It included “A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop,” where he criticizes Starbucks for its use of GMOs. “I want a cup of coffee, but I don’t want a GMO,” he sang. “I like to start the day without helping Monsanto.”
Four years later, he left Facebook for spreading “false information”. “I don’t think a social site should make obvious commitments to one side of politics or another,” he wrote. “This further confuses readers as to the veracity of the coverage and message.”
Facebook ultimately survived the campaign that Young and several others waged against it during the Trump years, but X is in a much weaker position. Musk paid $44 billion for the social media site in 2021, and it’s now valued at just $19 billion. Many advertisers – including Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. Discovery – pulled their ads in recent days after Musk agreed with user X who argued that Jews promote a “dialectical hatred of white people.”