Twitter's giant throbbing X erected 'without a permit'

Neighbors say it's an eyesore, Musk's underlings won't let inspectors near it

Updated A huge super-bright flashing X logo appeared atop the HQ of the company formerly known as Twitter on Friday, spurring complaints from neighbors and visits from San Francisco building inspectors that Elon Musk's underlings rebuffed twice over the weekend. 

According to the US West Coast city's Department of Building Inspection (DBI), a complaint over the sign was received on Friday, the same day it went up, alleging the structure atop 1355 Market Street was set up without the company getting a permit (screenshot if you're unable to access) to do so. 

The giant X was erected just five days after Musk announced that he wanted Twitter's old branding "blowtorched" from the company's assets, and five days after San Francisco police stopped workers from removing Twitter's existing sign because the company apparently failed to get permits for that work, too.

But when SF inspectors visited X HQ on Friday to take a look at the glowing logo, they were turned away, according to the city. A city inspector was denied access by a "Tweeter [sic] representative," who told the inspector the sign was temporary. Nevertheless, the inspector noted, the sign had to come down if X didn't get the proper authorization.

The same inspector returned to X HQ on Saturday, but "access was denied again by [the] tenant," they said in their report. We asked the SF DBI about what recourse it may have to gain access to the roof and the sign, but didn't immediately hear back.

Talk about an eyesore

A video published by a user of Musk's X on Saturday shows the bright, pulsating sign bathing the area in intense light. "I would be … livid," the poster said. "Imagine this … X sign right across from your bedroom." 

Christopher Beale, a San Francisco-based journalist, was quick to respond with videos of his own that he claimed show the sign from his apartment window, directly across the street from X HQ, where workers in a cherry picker appeared to be blocking traffic and removing the rest of the Twitter sign.

Another X neighbor who spoke to CBS Bay Area said he initially had no idea where the light was coming from on Friday, thinking it was lightning or a police siren. "This building, it's largely rent controlled; there are a lot of seniors who live there, I'm sure, I'm absolutely sure that this is a danger especially to them," Patricial Wallinga told the local CBS affiliate.

Several San Francisco residents who live near X HQ said they received no warning that the sign, and its accompanying bright lights, was going to be installed. And yes, at least some of our staff in the city can see parts of the sign flashing away at night when active. It's not on constantly, and if it's in your line of sight, you definitely notice the blinking.

X didn't respond to questions from The Register. ®

Updated to add

Today, workers were seen taking down the light-up logo. We guess you could say it is possible for Elon Musk to get over his X.

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