San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection Investigates Twitter’s Giant Flashing X Sign
The Department of Building Inspection in San Francisco is currently investigating a giant flashing X sign that has been installed on top of Twitter’s headquarters. The department received several complaints from people in the area regarding the intrusive lights emitted by the sign. Videos circulating on social media show the X sign emitting a blinding white pulsing light, particularly affecting a high-rise building across the street.
The installation of the new sign is part of owner Elon Musk’s rebranding of Twitter, which he claims will involve the creation of an “everything app.” However, the department of building inspection has raised concerns that the structure may violate permitting rules.
An inspector from the department stated in a written statement that Twitter representatives denied officials access to the building’s roof twice to inspect the logo. One staff member claimed that the sign was temporary. Despite this, the sign remained on top of the building as of Sunday.
The appearance of the X sign came after San Francisco police prevented workers from removing the brand’s decade-old bird and logo from the side of the building earlier in the week. The police cited safety concerns, stating that the footpath had not been taped off to ensure the safety of pedestrians in case anything fell.
Permitting and Planning Review Required for Replacement Letters or Symbols
According to Patrick Hannan, spokesperson for the department of building inspection, any replacement letters or symbols on the building’s sign would require a permit. This is to ensure consistency with the historic nature of the building and to ensure that additions are safely attached to the sign. Erecting a sign on top of a building also requires a permit.
“Planning review and approval is also necessary for the installation of this sign. The city is opening a complaint and initiating an investigation,” said Hannan.
In December, the department of building inspection opened a separate investigation into a complaint alleging that Elon Musk had built bedrooms in the San Francisco headquarters for workers.
Changes in Twitter’s Rebranding Efforts
Elon Musk’s rebranding of Twitter has brought about several major changes since he acquired the company in October of last year for $44 billion (£34.3 billion). In April, Musk briefly replaced Twitter’s long-standing blue logo, known as Larry the Bird, with a small picture of a Shibu Inu dog, famously known as the Doge meme, in a nod to the cryptocurrency Dogecoin.
Musk has also renamed Twitter’s corporate name to X Corp and named one of his children X. Additionally, the rebranding included monetizing the “verified” blue tick status of Twitter’s apps in April and implementing a temporary limit on the number of posts users were allowed to read at the start of July.
These changes prompted Meta, the owner of Facebook, to launch Threads, its own text-based conversation app, earlier this month. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that over 30 million people had signed up to use the rival messaging app within the first 24 hours. Twitter threatened to sue Meta, alleging stolen trade secrets.
As the investigation into the giant flashing X sign continues, Twitter recently reinstated Kanye West’s account after an eight-month suspension.
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