Neil Young, the iconic musician known for his activism and commitment to social causes, has once again made headlines by publicly denouncing the use of X (formerly known as Twitter). This decision comes in the wake of controversial statements made by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, that were deemed antisemitic.
Taking to the Neil Young Archives, Young expressed his disillusionment with Musk’s remarks and vowed to cease all use of X under his control. He emphasized the need for accountability, stating, “For reasons that should be obvious to the richest man on Earth, we are taking this action against his company.” The musician also shared a powerful message, advocating for a fresh start in the present and the release of past grievances, in order to unite humanity and focus on safeguarding our planet for future generations.
Young’s principled stance is reminiscent of his past confrontations with influential platforms. In 2015, he boldly challenged the agrochemical corporation Monsanto through his protest album, “The Monsanto Years,” shining a light on their use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Similarly, in 2019, he severed ties with Facebook, citing concerns over the dissemination of false information and the platform’s alignment with political agendas.
While Young’s boycotts have often inspired fellow artists, the impact on major platforms has varied. Spotify faced criticism when Young pulled his music due to COVID vaccine misinformation on Joe Rogan’s podcast, leading Joni Mitchell to follow suit. On the other hand, Facebook withstood the collective pressure exerted by Young and other activists during the Trump era. However, X finds itself in a more precarious position with plummeting financial valuation and the withdrawal of prominent advertisers, including Disney and Paramount, due to the recent controversy surrounding Musk’s comments.
Neil Young’s unwavering commitment to his principles serves as a reminder of the power artists possess in shaping social discourse. By speaking out against platforms that compromise integrity, Young continues to provoke important conversations and challenge the status quo.
Why did Neil Young stop using X?
Neil Young ceased using X (formerly known as Twitter) due to Elon Musk’s recent antisemitic remarks. Young expressed his disappointment in Musk’s statements and consequently decided to discontinue his association with the platform.
What other platforms has Neil Young boycott?
Neil Young has previously boycotted Spotify, Facebook, and now X. He boycotted Spotify due to COVID vaccine misinformation on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and he left Facebook because of concerns over the spread of false information and the platform’s political biases.
What was the impact of Neil Young’s previous boycotts?
Neil Young’s pullout from Spotify prompted Joni Mitchell to remove her music from the streaming service, but it did not inspire many other major artists to follow suit. Facebook, on the other hand, survived the campaign led by Young and other activists during the Trump years.
Why is X in a weaker position compared to Facebook?
X is in a weaker position compared to Facebook primarily due to the recent decline in its financial valuation. Elon Musk purchased X for $44 billion in 2022, but its current valuation stands at just $19 billion. Additionally, X has faced significant backlash, with prominent advertisers withdrawing their support after Musk’s agreement with an X user’s antisemitic comment.