Huge, strobe-effect ‘X’ removed from roof of Twitter HQ

Workers install lighting on an "X" sign atop the company headquarters.
Workers install lighting on an “X” sign atop the headquarters of the company formerly known as Twitter in downtown San Francisco on Friday.
(Noah Berger / Associated Press)

It’s the end of a short-lived era for the bright, flashing “X” that loomed atop Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters this weekend, much to the relief of nearby residents who were irritated with the light beaming into their homes.

Officials said the sign — a monument to Elon Musk’s rebranding of Twitter to its new mono-letter moniker — came down Monday morning, following resident complaints and a notice of violation from the city that it had been installed without the proper permit.

A city inspector went to the building Friday to inform the company and inspect the sign on the roof but was denied access by a representative who claimed the structure was a “temporary lighted sign for an event,” according to a record of the complaint from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection.


The inspector informed the representative that the sign had to be removed. Inspectors returned the next day but were again denied access, records show.

The bizarre renaming of Twitter is the latest and most pointed example of how Silicon Valley is losing touch with reality.

July 26, 2023

Over the weekend, the Department of Building Inspection received 24 complaints about the structure, including concerns about its safety and bright light, said Patrick Hannan, the department’s communications director.

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

In response to a post on the social media site alleging that San Francisco authorities were trying to force Musk to take down the sign, Musk replied with a single laughing/crying emoji.

The short-lived sign saga is the latest in a series of attention-grabbing and controversial moves by Musk following his $44-billion acquisition of the social media company last year.

Elon Musk has unveiled a new ‘X’ logo to replace Twitter’s blue bird as he follows through with a major rebranding of the social media platform.

July 24, 2023

The Twitter logo began a transition to X last week, shortly after Musk tweeted: “and soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.”

The X logo was projected onto the side of the company’s headquarters on Market Street on July 23.


The next day, as X started appearing on desktop versions of the site, workers removing the vertical Twitter sign from the side of the building were reportedly stopped by police for not taping off the sidewalk to block pedestrians from areas where they could get hurt if something fell.