Elon Musk removes giant, flashing X sign after furore

SAN FRANCISCO-The company formerly known as Twitter removed a towering, blinking X from atop its San Francisco headquarters Tuesday after the rebranded tech firm tangled with city officials over the controversial sign. The X, installed on the roof of the company’s downtown office last week, was part of owner Elon Musk’s bid to rebrand the troubled social media giant to the 24th letter of the alphabet.  But local residents had complained about the brilliant flashing lights emitting from the sign at night. Some also complained about safety, suggesting the sign -- which had loomed over the building’s edge did not appear securely anchored to the roof.
San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection and City Planning received 24 complaints about the sign, including concerns about its “structural safety and illumination,” agency communications director Patrick Hannan told AFP. “Tuesday morning, building inspectors observed the structure being dismantled,” Hannan said.  The owner of the property where X is renting offices will have to pay the cost of permits to install and remove the sign, as well as the cost of the city’s investigation, according to Hannan. A building inspector following up on a complaint first went to the tech firm’s headquarters on Friday, but was not allowed onto the roof to check the sign, according to the complaint posted on a city website. Instead, an X representative told the inspector that the structure was “a temporary lighted sign for an event,” the complaint showed. A second attempt by an inspector to check the sign was also rebuffed on Saturday, according to the city.  The city sent X a notice of violation warning that it needed proper permits for the sign. When contacted by AFP about the complaint, X replied with an automated message saying it would respond “soon.”

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