A pair of Twitter users this week sicced San Francisco building inspectors on the company's headquarters in an apparent effort to frustrate new CEO Elon Musk.
San Francisco's Department of Building Inspection dispatched agents to the social media company's headquarters after two anonymous Twitter users tweeted complaints that the company was violating the city's building codes by setting up office bedrooms for employees. The complaints followed a Monday Forbes article that described how Twitter has set up "modest bedrooms" for workers who spend the night at the office—a not uncommon practice among Silicon Valley tech workers.
The complaints appear to have been motivated by anti-Musk sentiment that has mounted on Twitter since the billionaire acquired the company. Large swaths of liberal pundits, reporters, and celebrities have cried foul at Musk's decisions to restore shuttered Twitter accounts and work to make the site's algorithms fairer to conservatives.
The Twitter press team didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company's new troll in chief had a characteristic reaction. Musk tagged San Francisco mayor London Breed (D.) on a link to a story about a baby who suffered a fentanyl overdose in the city.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 6, 2022
City building inspectors opened an investigation after a Twitter user with the handle @aniccia tagged the city's planning department in a complaint.
Wonder how much office can be converted to "bedrooms" before it runs afoul of San Francisco code or at least requires a permit and inspections.
AFAIK, the answer is 0, but then I never covertly converted office to residential.
— John Berry - Is this my last tweet ever? (@aniccia) December 6, 2022
In a reply to that tweet, a second Twitter user tagged San Francisco's 311 line and asked the service to investigate.
Hey @sf311 do you know who should be checking this out?
— Mr MR (@21five_public) December 6, 2022
A spokesman for the building inspectors said they will likely start an investigation into Twitter's office bedrooms within a few days. "There may be fines associated with the enforcement process," the spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon.
"There are different building code requirements for residential buildings, including those being used for short-term stays," the building inspection department spokesman said. "These codes make sure people are using spaces safely. Everyone in San Francisco deserves a safe place to live, work, play, and sleep, and no one is above the law."
Twitter HQ sits in the middle of San Francisco's epicenter of homelessness and drugs. Cofounder Ev Williams says he decided to move the company to the notoriously downtrodden Tenderloin district in the hopes that Twitter would act as a "revitalizing force." At the time, San Francisco was luring tech firms to the neighborhood with tax breaks.
The Tenderloin has seen an uptick in crime and homelessness in recent years. Downtown San Francisco has suffered since many white-collar workers began working from home during the pandemic. Prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen on Tuesday commented on the state of the neighborhood, tweeting a side-by-side of the Twitter news with a picture of sidewalk tents that proliferate in the Tenderloin district.
— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) December 7, 2022
Tech giants for years have prided themselves on making it easy for workers to stay at the office 24-7 with gyms, showers, and other amenities. Facebook and Google have famously built campus housing, and Google employees have bragged about the months they slept in their cars, RVs, or offices at company headquarters.