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San Francisco investigating giant X sign installed on Twitter HQ

The new ‘X’ logo is seen being installed on top of the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on July 28, 2023. | Source: Issac Ceja/The Standard

Elon Musk’s rebrand of Twitter is in full swing as a giant X sign appeared on the roof of the former Twitter headquarters in Downtown San Francisco on Friday.

But the Department of Building Inspection, which regulates construction in the city, confirmed with The Standard it has opened a complaint and initiated an investigation into the erection of the X sign at 1355 Market St.

There are currently two active complaints listed on DBI’s website, one is for an unpermitted structure on the roof and the other is for an unsafe sign.

The unsafe sign complaint relates to Monday’s efforts to remove the iconic Twitter sign at the corner of Market and 10th streets.

Twitter's iconic Market Street after it was stripped of its lettering on the 10th Street side in late July, 2023. | Source: Julie Makinen/The Standard

“The ‘@’ symbol is dangling and could fall [into] the public [right of] way causing harm to pedestrians,” the DBI Notice of Violation states. The dangerous dangling character has since been removed, along with the letters “er” that were left behind when police officers stopped the dismantling of the sign on Monday. The Market Street side of the sign remained intact, as did the side facing toward Ninth Street.

“A building permit is required to make sure the sign is structurally sound and installed safely,” said DBI spokesman Patrick Hannan. “Planning review and approval is also necessary for the installation of this sign. The city is opening a complaint and initiating an investigation.”

Both the old Twitter sign and the new 'X' logo can be seen on the Twitter headquarters on July 28, 2023. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October last year before slashing its staff.

The X started to appear at the top of the desktop version of Twitter on Monday, but the bird logo is still dominant across the smartphone app as of Friday. In response to questions about what tweets would be called when the rebranding is done, Musk said they would be called “Xs.”

Requests for comment from the social media platform were returned with an email stating they would respond soon.