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Twitter Forced to Remove 'X' Sign after San Francisco Neighbors Complained

The city's Department of Building Inspection say an inspector was twice denied access to the glowing letter

The company formerly known as Twitter has removed its new “X” sign from the top of its San Francisco headquarters and may be fined for the display.

On July 31, three days after the glowing “X” — the social media company’s new moniker — was installed on the roof of the Market Street building, the sign was removed. 

Area residents reportedly complained about the sign, which flashed a night. Patrick Hannan, a spokesman for the Department of Building Inspection, told CBS News that an inspector had been sent to the building after receiving 24 complaints but was twice denied access.

The Department of Building Inspection issued the property owner a notice of violation on July 28.

City officials have said the sign is under investigation, as the company would have needed to obtain a permit for its installation due to design and safety concerns. Hannan said San Francisco was able to secure its own permit to remove the “X.”

“The property owners will be billed for permit fees for the installation and removal of the sign and to cover the cost of the city’s investigation,” per CBS News

Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk bought Twitter in November for $44 billion and led the rebranding. He shared a video of the “X” lit up on July 29. 

Area residents told ABC 7 News that the sign was too disruptive.

“It is pretty annoying from my perspective,” said Jessica Xu, who lives across the street from the company’s headquarters. “I think it’s way too bright! It was flashing directly into my apartment and just lit up my entire place.”

“From below, we were walking our dog and saw it and were like, oh wow what a spectacle and then we get upstairs and we see like the ramifications of it and it is so bright and ridiculous,” Jennifer Freeman told the outlet.

According to NPR, “Twitter was already in hot waters with the city of San Francisco last Monday for removing Twitter’s original sign, which includes its name and iconic blue bird, without proper permits or taping off the sidewalk as part of pedestrian safety measures.”

Musk’s rebranding efforts have not been universally embraced online. Musk announced he would replace Twitter’s branding – the blue bird illustration – and name with an X logo and on July 23. He has already changed the company’s name to X Holding Corp in April and has publicly spoken about his vision for “X, the everything app” which would be comparable to China’s WeChat.

Linda Yaccarino, the company’s chief executive officer, celebrated the rebranding in subsequent posts aligning herself with Musk.

“It’s an exceptionally rare thing – in life or in business – that you get a second chance to make another big impression,” she wrote. “Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square.”

There’s absolutely no limit to this transformation. X will be the platform that can deliver, well….everything,” she added.

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