San Francisco authorities are targeting Twitter, rebranded as X, for installing an “unsafe sign” on the roof of its office building, but have yet to gain access to review the potential safety violation. Twitter installed a giant “X” sign on Friday without proper authorization, according to city officials who say a permit is required to replace letters or symbols on buildings to ensure the sign doesn’t present a safety hazard.
City officials issued a notice of violation against Twitter the same day the sign went up. An inspector attempted to access the rooftop twice but was denied by company representatives. The inspector spoke with Twitter representatives only hours after the sign went up who claimed it was there temporarily for an event and barred the inspector from the roof, according to San Francisco’s complaint tracker. A second attempt was made on Saturday after the inspector had a conversation with the building manager, but was again denied access upon arrival by the tenant, the tracker says.
The attempted inspection comes after authorities forced Twitter to cease taking down its logo from the side of the building on July 24. The company planned to replace the Twitter sign with its rebranded “X,” but authorities had received reports of a “possible unpermitted street closure,” and said the crane was disrupting two lanes of traffic at the crossroads of a busy intersection, AP News reported. Twitter was forced to stop removing the sign, leaving just an “er” on the building after authorities said the workers hadn’t protected pedestrians from falling debris by taping off the sidewalk, according to the outlet.
A spokesperson for the Department of Building Inspection told the outlet last week that work couldn’t continue until Twitter retained a permit to ensure the work was “consistent with the historic nature of the building” and that safety measures were in place.
Twitter has received additional complaints from residents who say the giant “X” at the top of the building is too bright and shining into nearby apartments. The company posted a video to its Twitter account showing the pulsating “X” sign blazing, and one resident told ABC 7 News: “From below, we were walking our dog and saw it and were like, oh wow what a spectacle, and then we get upstairs and we see like the ramifications of it and it is so bright and ridiculous.”
The building inspection spokesperson told AP News on Friday that they are “planning review and approval is also necessary for the installation of this sign.” He added, “The city is opening a complaint and initiating an investigation.”
The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.