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. On the other side, the only thing missing is the R. The blue bird remains.
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, founded in San Francisco 2006, has inspired countless imitations. Musk bought the company for $44 billion in October 2022, but tried to pull out.
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 is a controversial figure since purchasing Twitter. He has defended racist comments from Scott Adams of Dilbert and promoted anti-trans activists Matt Walsh whose hateful documentary. What is a Woman?Musk posted the whole thing on Twitter.
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. Musk was a source of anxiety for several executives at an April market conference. That conference saw NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino interviewing Musk about his vision for social media. Yaccarino was hired by Twitter as its CEO, even though Musk is the face of the service.
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.