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Sebastian Tong and Kurt Wagner

Musk Spars With San Francisco Over Probe of Bedrooms at Twitter

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California, US, on Tuesday, Nov, 29, 2022. Twitter Inc. said it ended a policy designed to suppress false or misleading information about Covid-19, part of Musk's polarizing mission to remake the social network as a place for unmoderated speech. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

Elon Musk is sparring with Twitter Inc.’s hometown of San Francisco after turning some space at the company’s headquarters into makeshift bedrooms, a possible violation of city building codes.

Twitter in recent weeks has turned several conference rooms at the office into sleeping areas, complete with furniture like bedside tables and armchairs, according to people familiar with the matter. It no longer needs as many meeting spaces now that thousands of employees have either been laid off or fired after the billionaire’s $44 billion purchase of the company in late October.

The city’s Department of Building Inspection is looking into the matter after receiving a complaint, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday. Musk lashed out at Mayor London Breed for the investigation, saying the company is providing beds for tired employees. In a tweet, he attached a link to a recent Chronicle report about a baby’s near death after allegedly accidentally ingesting fentanyl at a city playground. 

“Our Department of Building Inspection is required to investigate complaints when they are filed and determine if there are any violations that have occurred,” Jeff Cretan, a spokesman for Breed, said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “It’s a basic government responsibility.”

He declined to comment on Musk’s tweet, saying Breed is “focused on running the city, which includes delivering basic city services, like ensuring departments are responding to official complaints, and confronting our very real challenges, like addressing the crisis caused by deadly fentanyl on our streets.”

San Francisco has struggled with rising crime and the perception it is increasingly unsafe, with District Attorney Brooke Jenkins saying in an interview with Bloomberg last week there is “lawlessness” in the city. After the reported incident of the child with fentanyl, Breed tweeted “it’s important to keep public spaces safe” and said those who sell the drug must be held accountable. 

Before his Twitter purchase closed, Musk floated the idea of turning the social media company’s office building into a homeless shelter, saying that employees weren’t turning up due to its now discontinued work-from-home policies. Since acquiring the company and firing around 3,700 employees, nearly half of its workforce, he issued an ultimatum to remaining staff to commit to “hardcore” Twitter.

See also: Twitter Janitors on Strike at San Francisco Headquarters

Not only does Musk expect employees to work long hours and even sleep at the office when necessary, but he has also asked many of his employees at Tesla Inc. and the Boring Co. to assist him at Twitter during the transition period. The rooms are also believed to be for those workers, some of whom travel to San Francisco for work meetings, the people with knowledge of the matter said.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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