Twitter’s Bold Rebranding Move to ‘X’ Sparks Controversy and Legal Troubles in San Francisco (July 29): A Risky Transformation with Far-Reaching Implications


It was revealed last week when the organization formerly known as Twitter took a dangerous move that the use of “X” truly identifies a specific location for a city inspection. They illegally built a huge lit “X” on top of their San Francisco offices as part of their formal rebranding process.

The decision to rename the leading social media network “X” was made public by Elon Musk himself.  As part of this redesign, the historic logo that served as Twitter’s corporate emblem was also eliminated. Prior to this, the parent company had already changed its name to X Corporation, and Musk had lofty plans to create the “Everything App.”

The name “Twitter” made sense in the past when messages could only be 140 characters long and looked like birds chirping, according to Musk, who explained the rebranding. However, considering that the platform now offers a diversity of content, from short messages to lengthy films, the moniker was no longer acceptable. It was therefore decided to accept the more comprehensive identifier “X.”

New Twitter Logo “X” on the top of HQ in San Francisco

Source – Twitter

The local officials expressed their concern despite the fact that this action was considered as a strong assertion and an attempt to reinvent the brand’s character.

 It was determined that the large lit “X” on the San Francisco headquarters broke the city’s sign ordinance and was installed without the required permission.

The company initially claimed ignorance over the installation in response to the city’s Building Inspection Department’s complaint, claiming it was a temporary exhibit for an event. Following an inspection, city representatives advised the business that, in order to ensure the sign’s legal display, they must either remove it immediately or obtain the necessary permit.

However, when efforts to retrieve the sign proved fruitless, the issue became increasingly challenging. The building’s tenant continually hindered the inspector from entering the area, leading to a dispute between the business and local authorities.

The implications of this issue stretch beyond the city government. Locals voiced their displeasure, including internet journalist Christopher Beale from San Francisco. Beale published a video of the brightly lit “X” along with a commentary likening it to lightning. Petricia Valinga was also frightened by the light disturbance since she initially thought it was lightning or a police siren. Because she was concerned about how it would effect the building’s senior citizens, Valinga referred to it as a “circus performance”.

According to professionals like construction law attorney George Wolf, building owners are typically informed about authorization applications for installations like this. The prospect of a public nuisance prosecution is one of the possible legal repercussions for noncompliance.

A spokeswoman for the building inspection department of the official emphasized the requirement for official approval in response to media inquiries in order to ensure compliance with the historical character of the building and the safety of new additions.

In conclusion, the illuminated “X” that was forcibly erected atop Twitter’s San Francisco offices to signify their rebranding received both positive and unfavorable attention. While changing their identification was a daring thing to do, it also raised concerns about following local rules. It will be interesting to observe how Twitter’s deadlock with the city government is resolved and how it affects Twitter’s future as “X.”


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