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Glowing X Logo Above Twitter HQ Triggers Latest Conflict Between Musk And San Francisco

Topline

Elon Musk’s decision to put a giant glowing ‘X’ logo above the headquarters of Twitter’s office in San Francisco has triggered another clash between the billionaire and the city’s administration, after the two have previously feuded over Musk’s alleged flouting of the city’s safety and building codes.

Workers install lighting on an “X” sign atop the company headquarters, formerly known as Twitter, in … [+] downtown San Francisco.

Associated Press

Key Facts

Following last week’s rebranding from Twitter to X, the social media company installed a new “X” logo on the roof of its headquarters in San Francisco’s Market Street on Friday—videos and photos of which were shared by Musk.

The structure—which lights up brightly in a slow blinking pattern—immediately triggered complaints from Twitter’s neighbors in the area, prompting the city’s Department of Building Inspection to begin investigating, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

City records show a building inspector visited the site on Friday and Saturday but they were denied access to the roof and were told the structure was “a temporary lighted sign for an event.”

Musk appeared to be unbothered by the investigation and mocked the company’s San Francisco landlord—who sued Twitter for alleged nonpayment of rent—with a Ferris Bueller meme and wrote “He keeps calling the police about our sign modifications!”

Key Background

The controversy around the X structure is the latest clash in an ongoing feud between Musk and public officials in San Francisco. A lawsuit filed by former Twitter employees earlier this year highlighted the billionaire’s alleged disregard for building codes. The suit alleges that Musk wanted a bathroom built next to his office at the San Francisco headquarters and Joseph Killian, the company’s former construction design head, was ordered to build one. When Killian brought up permits, he was allegedly told to ignore them and hire an “unlicensed plumber” to build the bathroom. In the suit, Killian alleges that he was ordered to flout other building codes including using cheaper locks and space heaters in the building. The claims in the lawsuit have prompted an investigation by city authorities. Musk also abruptly turned some office spaces at Twitter’s headquarters into sleeping areas with mattresses last year, leading city officials to investigate whether Twitter had run afoul of San Francisco’s building code for residential spaces.

Crucial Quote

On Sunday, Musk tweeted: “Many have offered rich incentives for X (fka Twitter) to move its HQ out of San Francisco. 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…San Francisco, beautiful San Francisco, though others forsake you, we will always be your friend.”

Further Reading

Furor grows over ‘unsafe’ giant X sign atop Twitter building (San Francisco Chronicle)

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