Perhaps to create another distraction so we pay less attention to other troubling behavior, Elon Musk has had the sign painted outside Twitter HQ on Market Street so that it looks like it says "Titter."

He's either just amusing himself again or he's highlighting some ongoing beef with the building's landlord. But Elon announced Sunday, via tweet, that the W on the headquarters sign had been painted "background color" so as to make the company name look like Titter, at least on one face of the building.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"Our landlord at SF HQ says we’re legally required to keep sign as Twitter & cannot remove 'w', so we painted it background color. Problem solved!" Musk said, followed by, "They tried to muffle our titter."

This follows the Ws on both faces of the sign being covered over with pastic last week, which apparently the landlord must have voiced objection to?

While the word "titter" can mean a small, giggly laugh, everybody seems pretty sure that Musk is aiming for a tit joke here. As Gizmodo notes, Musk previously joked in a tweet in late November 2021 about opening a university called the Texas Institute of Technology & Science (abbreviation TITS), quipping, "It will have epic merch."

Musk also posted a seemingly joke-y poll last year asking whether the company should "delete the w in Twitter."

It should also be noted that Titter was the title of a midcentury girlie magazine.

This latest antic comes after a week in which Musk pissed off a whole lot of Substackers, disallowing links to the self-publishing content platform. As the New York Times reported, "Twitter and Substack share a major investor, the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which could be called to play referee in the spat."

The spat, as it were, seems to be about Substack launching a Twitter-like mini-blog feature called Notes. And among those users pissed off about the cutting off of links is writer Matt Taibbi, the same Matt Taibbi who jumped in bed with Musk and conservative media back in November to help publish and promote "The Twitter Files" non-controversy.

Taibbi tweeted about his "alarm" at the Twitter/Substack decision, saying he would be staying at Substack and switching over to Notes full time.

The juvenile distraction of "Titter" also comes after a week in which Musk vindictively removed the blue-check verification from the New York Times' main Twitter account — but did not do the same to any other media organization — and labeled NPR as "state-funded media." After pushback about the label, Musk instead had NPR's account labeled "government funded media" and added the same designation to the BBC. Both organizations have objected, with NPR saying it is largely funded by listeners, and the BBC saying it funded by the people of Britain "through the license fee."

Meanwhile, Musk also lifted restrictions on some Russian state-media accounts that were put in place at the start of the Ukraine War — saying, "All news is to some degree propaganda. Let people decide for themselves." And he briefly had the Twitter bird logo replaced with a shiba inu or "doge," of Dogecoin fame, apparently just to amuse himself and crypto fanboys. The move appeared to cause the price of Dogecoin to spike almost 19% at one point early last week.

Musk's hostility to traditional media may or may not have been a key motivator in his purchasing of Twitter to begin with, but the $44 billion investment remains a potential money-loser if the company's revenue-generation efforts don't bear fruit. It's not clear how successful the subscription push is going — after no one's pre-existing blue checkmarks appear to have been taken away for nonpayment except the New York Times'. And advertisers are reportedly pulling back on spending on the platform.

As CNN puts it, regarding the "W" erasure on the sign, "As if to underscore his unique and questionable impact on the brand, the “Chief Twit” has also apparently been keeping busy with changes to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters." And, they write, "Musk’s antics, which only seem to have escalated this month, threaten to further erode Twitter’s brand value."

Previously: Twitter Labels NPR ‘State-Affiliated Media’ In Musk's Latest Taunt at Mainstream Press

Top photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images