Nearly 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 antisemitic 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 Earth, we are taking this action against his company.” (The post also included a photo of Musk with a caption that reads “Teslas should fly flags of love – not hate.”)
He closed with a plea to the people, “our many Palestinian friends” and “our many Jewish friends.” “We do 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 we can be free to move on in life together, all 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 not many other major artists followed. “I’m very sorry that they feel that way,” Rogan said in response to Young’s boycott. “I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan. I’ve always been a Neil Young fan.”
Back in 2015, Young took on the agrochemical corporation Monsanto on his protest album The Monsanto Years. It included “A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop” where he trashes Starbucks over their use of GMOs. “I want a cup of coffee but I don’t want a GMO,” he sang. “I like to start my day off without helping Monsanto.”
Four years later, he quit Facebook for spreading “false information.” “I don’t feel that a social site should be making obvious commitments to one side of politics or the other,” he wrote. “It further confuses readers regarding truthfulness in 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 far weaker position. Musk paid $44 billion for the social media site in 2022, 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 an X user who argued that Jews push a “dialectical hatred against whites.”