Giant Flashing 'X' Sign Atop Twitter HQ Dismantled Amid Rebranding Efforts

San Francisco building inspectors said that the strobing white lights on Twitter's rooftop were erected without the required safety permits.

A very large flashing “X” sign on the roof of Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco was dismantled on Monday, after officials said the latest move by Elon Musk to rebrand the social media company violated city code.

On July 23, Musk unveiled a new black and white “X” logo he said would replace the blue bird that has famously represented Twitter for years. The X now appears on both the desktop and mobile versions of the app, with the letter in white over a black background.

Last week, San Francisco police stopped workers from removing Twitter’s bird and vertical logo from the side of the building, saying they had not taped off the sidewalk to keep pedestrians safe during the work. On Friday, Musk installed a giant X on top of Twitter’s building that emitted a strobing white light, which nearby residents said beamed into their apartments.

The city opened a complaint and launched an investigation into the sign on the day it went up, with an inspector calling the giant X “unsafe” because it was built without a safety permit. Any replacement letters or symbols, as well as erecting a sign on top of a building, would require a permit to ensure “consistency with the historic nature of the building” and to ensure any additions to the structure are safely attached, a spokesperson for the Department of Building Inspection told The Associated Press.

Senior building inspector Mauricio Hernandez spoke with Twitter and building maintenance on Friday, explaining to them the department’s investigation process and requesting access to the roof, according to a government complaint tracker. But a Twitter representative refused to let Hernandez access the sign, saying the X was a “temporary lighted sign for an event,” the tracker reads.

On Saturday, Hernandez again tried to access the sign, only to be denied by the company. Musk posted a video on Twitter hours later showing the X sign flashing white light atop the headquarters.

But on Monday, workers were seen taking down the X that Musk boasted about. After being up for less than three days, the sign was gone by noon, according to local outlets.


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