The San Francisco Department of Building and Inspection has been engaged in a high-stakes standoff with tech magnate Elon Musk's social media company, now rebranded as "X" from Twitter.
Musk has been attempting to change the signage at its Market Street headquarter building to reflect the rebrand, but has already been foiled by the city a few times. Earlier this week, the San Francisco Police Department stopped the company from taking down the iconic "@twitter" signage when it lacked the necessary permits (leaving one sign that just read “er.”)
On Friday, the company installed a giant black sign that says “X” on the roof, according to the Chronicle. But it has run into the same issues: Replacing letters or symbols or erecting a sign on top of city buildings requires a permit for design and safety reasons. And the Chronicle reported that the city’s permit database has no records of any recent applications at the building.
Of course, San Francisco opened a complaint and launched an investigation. But when city workers went to visit, they say that they were denied access to the roof for two consecutive days, on Friday and Saturday, according to Deadline. Reportedly, representatives and building maintenance engineers said they didn’t have to allow inspectors on-site because the structure was temporary and intended for an event.
While the black X is thin and barely visible from the street, it lights up and pulses aggressively at night, according to videos on social media.
So we'll see what happens next week.
And in classic Musk fashion, he remains defiant, even pinning a post atop his X page with a video of the structure. He also posted about how he’s committed to staying in San Francisco even as he trashed the city.
“Many have offered rich incentives for X (fka Twitter) to move its HQ out of San Francisco,” he wrote. “Moreover, the city is in a doom spiral with one company after another left or leaving. Therefore, they expect X will move too. We will not. You only know who your real friends are when the chips are down. San Francisco, beautiful San Francisco, though others forsake you, we will always be your friend.”
Feature image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images of an aerial view of workers installing a large X on the roof of the former Twitter headquarters on July 28, 2023 in San Francisco, California.