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Twitter removed half its HQ sign — then the police arrived

Twitter removed half its HQ sign — then the police arrived


Apparently a misunderstanding

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A worker removes letters from the Twitter sign that is posted on the exterior of Twitter headquarters.
The Twitter sign is coming down in San Francisco.
Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Twitter, in case you somehow haven’t heard, is rebranding as “X,” ditching one of the world’s most iconic and theoretically valuable brands in exchange for Elon Musk’s personal idea of cool. Today, the theoretically-not-Musk-led company owned by Musk also attempted to remove the Twitter sign at its headquarters at 1355 Market Street in San Francisco.

Before they could finish, the police showed up.

“San Francisco police halted the sign removal shortly after it began,” wrote Justin Sullivan for Getty Images as part of a caption alongside his many excellent photos of the site.

We haven’t confirmed why police pressed pause. Originally, another observer, Wayne Sutton, tweeted that Musk didn’t get a permit for the crane.

However, local police told The San Francisco Standard that it was a misunderstanding:

At approximately 12:39 P.M. officers assigned to Tenderloin Station responded to the area of 10th and Market Street regarding a report of a possible unpermitted street closure.

Through their investigation officers were able to determine that no crime was committed, and this incident was not a police matter.

“Police on the scene said someone with Twitter had a work order to take the sign down but didn’t communicate it with security and the property owner of the building,” the Standard added.

Either way, the crane is gone, and the result is that Twitter is now “er” to some passerby.

Elon Musk Rebranding Twitter Logo From Bird To “X”
Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

And, for a while at least, some big letters were on the ground — including the white “W” that Musk claimed was the center of a dispute with the landlord. (I suspect the dispute also might have had to do with the rent Musk wasn’t paying.)

Elon Musk Rebranding Twitter Logo From Bird To “X”
Police show up, letters on ground.
Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

We haven’t seen anything to suggest that Twitter’s demolition guy was “cutting the Twitter logo off the building with blowtorches,” like Musk suggested in a Twitter Spaces conversation yesterday evening while he was playing Diablo IV.

Instead of blowtorches, the demo guy appears to be using an impact driver from Ridgid, one of The Home Depot’s house brands.

Elon Musk Rebranding Twitter Logo From Bird To “X”
Looks like an impact driver to me.
Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

We’ll let you know what happens next — perhaps as part of our 497-and-counting-update saga on the entire story of Twitter under Elon Musk.

As of July 25th at 10:05AM PT, the remaining half-sign was still reportedly there.

Update, 6:07PM ET: Added the San Francisco Standard’s reporting on why police arrived.

Update July 25th, 2:20PM ET: Twitter’s half-sign is still hanging in there.