June 19, 2024

San Francisco Investigating Giant X Installed At Twitter HQ

The city of San Francisco is investigating the gigantic X sign installed at Twitter’s headquarters, according to a new report from the Associated Press. The X first appeared on Friday following a week when the site’s owner, Elon Musk, has made a concerted effort to get rid of the Twitter brand in as many areas as possible.

Any new signs require a permit for both safety and design reasons, according to the Associated Press, which quotes Patrick Hannan, a spokesperson for San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection.

“Planning review and approval is also necessary for the installation of this sign. The city is opening a complaint and initiating an investigation,” Hannan told the AP over email.

Workers who tried to remove the Twitter sign at the company’s San Francisco headquarters earlier this week were shut down by police, leaving just the “ER” portion of the word Twitter. More recent photos, like the one below, appear to show that the blue bird and all the letters in “Twitter” have been removed on at least one side of the building. The other side appears to be only missing the letter R, but still has the blue bird.

Musk believes his rebrand of the company will make X, “the most powerful brand on Earth,” though there are plenty of skeptics who question the wisdom of getting rid of the Twitter brand. Twitter was founded in San Francisco in 2006 and spawned countless imitators. Musk purchased the company in October 2022 for $44 billion, though tried to back out of the deal.

Bloomberg News recently estimated that getting rid of the Twitter brand likely wipes anywhere from $4 billion to $20 billion off the company’s value. That’s significant when you take into account a valuation from Fidelity back in May that estimated Twitter is only worth about $15 billion after the drastic changes Musk has made to the company.

Musk has been a lightning rod of controversy since he purchased Twitter, defending racist statements from people like Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, and promoting anti-trans activists like Matt Walsh, whose hate-filled documentary What Is a Woman? was posted in its entirety on Twitter and promoted by Musk.

Major advertisers have taken notice of the changes at Twitter, which has suffered a drop in advertising revenue of about 50% according to Musk’s own admission. Several executives were nervous about even being in the same room as Musk at a market conference back in April. That conference saw NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino interviewing Musk about his vision for social media. Yaccarino has since been hired as the CEO of Twitter, despite Musk clearly being the very public face of the company.

X did not respond to questions emailed Friday night about the city of San Francisco’s concerns over the sign at its headquarters. I’ll update this article if I hear back.

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