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Twitter's 'X' sign is taken down in San Francisco after neighbors filed 24 complaints

An aerial view shows a newly constructed "X" sign on the roof of the headquarters of the social media platform previously known as Twitter, in San Francisco, on July 29.
Josh Edelson
/
AFP via Getty Images
An aerial view shows a newly constructed "X" sign on the roof of the headquarters of the social media platform previously known as Twitter, in San Francisco, on July 29.

Updated July 31, 2023 at 6:26 PM ET

Twitter's new "X" sign was taken down on Monday after the city of San Francisco reprimanded the company for installing a giant, flashing sign above its building without a permit.

The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection said it received 24 complaints about the sign, including "concerns about its structural safety and illumination."

A building permit is technically required to dismantle the sign too, but the removal was allowed to proceed "due to safety concerns," Patrick Hannan, a spokesperson for the department, told NPR.

The signage was the latest effort in the social media platform's rebranding since the sweeping changes were announced last week.

The removal comes less than three days after a city inspector went to Twitter's headquarters on Friday to alert the company of its permit violation and to evaluate the sign located on the roof, according to the city's complaint.

A Twitter representative denied access but explained that the structure is "a temporary lighted sign for an event." The inspector clarified that any signage without a permit must be removed.

The inspector came to the headquarters again on Saturday to visit the roof. But upon arrival, "access was denied again by tenant," the complaint said.

Twitter did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment. But to a tweetalleging that San Francisco authorities were trying to force Musk to remove the "X" sign, the Twitter owner replied on Saturday with a laughing-crying emoji.

Twitter was already in hot waters with the city of San Francisco last Monday for removing Twitter's original sign, which includes its name and iconic blue bird, without proper permits or taping off the sidewalk as part of pedestrian safety measures.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.