July 30 (Reuters) – A colossal, luminous X now adorns the skyline of San Francisco, signifying the city’s future home for the messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter. However, this striking display has triggered a wave of discontent among city officials and some residents who perceive it as intrusive and disruptive.
On Market Street, where the company’s headquarters are located, an imposing “X” logo emerged on the rooftop, much to the dismay of neighboring residents. Complaints about the glaring lights prompted San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection to launch an investigation into the structure’s legality.
This dramatic gesture from the company comes after an announcement by the enigmatic billionaire, Elon Musk, who acquired the messaging platform in a staggering $44 billion deal in October. Musk confidently declared that the company would remain in San Francisco despite what he referred to as the city’s recent “doom spiral,” marked by the departure of several businesses.
Elon Musk, famously known for his role as the CEO of Tesla, also relocated the electric car manufacturer’s headquarters from California to Texas in 2021. Therefore, his decision to keep X in San Francisco is viewed by many as a glimmer of hope for a city that has been grappling with economic setbacks brought on by the pandemic. San Francisco’s downtown region has faced challenges with tech sector layoffs, major retailers closing shop, decreased tourism, and reduced foot traffic due to remote work arrangements. Furthermore, high-profile crime and homelessness have added to the city’s struggles, tarnishing its image.
In his characteristic style, Musk expressed loyalty to San Francisco, proclaiming, “Beautiful San Francisco, though others forsake you, we will always be your friend.” While this statement resonated with some, not all San Franciscans welcomed Musk’s friendship with open arms. Many locals took to social media to share videos of the massive glowing X, with some criticizing the logo for its intrusive and pulsating lights. User @itsmefrenchy123 exclaimed they would be “LIVID” if they had to face the bright logo “right across from [their] bedroom.”
The situation escalated further when San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection initiated an investigation into the legality of the structure, suspecting potential permit violations. The company’s representatives allegedly denied roof access to BID officials seeking to inspect the logo, claiming it was temporary. The spokesperson for the BID could not be reached for immediate comment on the matter.
As the controversy surrounding the X logo continues to unfold, San Francisco finds itself at a crossroads. While some see the company’s decision to stay in the city as a beacon of hope amid challenging times, others remain critical of the intrusive display and its potential impact on the already beleaguered cityscape. As the investigation proceeds, the fate of the glowing X and its presence in San Francisco remains uncertain, leaving both supporters and critics anxiously awaiting the outcome.