It’s been said that Twitter is the agora of the digital age. If that’s true, Providence mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci’s Twitter is an agora full of people dressed up as him making jokes about his marinara sauce. Twice-elected mayor, Cianci uncovered rivers and carried Providence out of economic ruin. He also ended both terms with felony convictions, the first time for assault and the second time for conspiracy to commit racketeering. Wings torn off and cast out of City Hall, Buddy did his time, then returned to Providence to host a radio talk show and donate $3 in four years from his nonprofit marinara startup. So when Providence’s favorite antihero announced his candidacy in the final hour, it called up a crop of pretenders to the throne of the Cianci social media empire. The Indy has launched into the fray to do a roundup of the relative realness of all our Buddies on Twitter.
If you like white bread and pumpkin chaider, @CianciForMayor is for you. This is the official Cianci campaign account, linked from his website. It doesn’t have the same flair as some of its peers but there is still some choice weirdness to be found.
@NotBuddyCianci keeps things a little too real with his moralizing, straightforward character attacks on Cianci and Democratic candidates Elorza and Solomon, and signature end-days hashtag #PVDBeware. This guy clearly sees a beast with seven heads winning the 2014 mayoral election. Coupled with his tendency to asterisk-censor “fucking,” @NotBuddyCianci has an air of total not-chillness about him. Geez, we get it, you think rampant political corruption is a big deal, but this was fun before. I suspect @NotBuddyCianci would be down to put on a hooded black robe and play a round of chess with you on a desolate Swedish beach.
With 1,600 followers, @VincentCianci clocks in at the most popular account, beating out even the “real” Buddy’s six hundred. As art historians have debated whether to attribute the Dreyfus Madonna to a young Leonardo DaVinci, some argue that these seven tweets sent in 2009 might be Buddy’s first foray into Twitter. But the genius behind @VincentCianci plays with the line between satire and genuine baby-boomer net awkwardness too well to be sure. Who is Ron and why is he a “brullion,” a word that @VincentCianci appears to have made up? What is the symbolic function of addressing his tweets to Facebook? It’s not an enigma that can be solved in our lifetime, unless the Freemasons or a witch would like to weigh in.
@TheFakeBuddy is the social climber of the group. His comments are completely off-brand and he blatantly fishes for retweets by mentioning the heavy hitters of PVD’s Twittersphere like the Phoenix’s Philip Eil and positivity bangle snake oil salesmen Alex and Ani. Buddy Cianci is no bottom feeder, and you should not stand on his lofty shoulders just to boost your lousy Klout Score. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse— @TheFakeBuddy is, like, so fake.
Rumors swirl about the enigmatic figure behind Verified Buddy Cianci (@RealBuddyCianci). Sources say that he is a dues-paying Brown alum who retreated to a monastery in Brooklyn to hone his tweetcraft. His posts are scrawled on parchment and delivered by rabbits to scribes at a nearby ’Net Café. Either that, or he is a local teen. @VerifiedBuddy makes up for his small follower base with the underappreciated genius of his tweets.
Providence citizens: when you pick up your ballot on November 4, make sure you don’t just check the box for Buddy Cianci. Instead, use the write-in section and specify which Buddy you’d like to see in office. Our law-and-order pick is @ NotBuddyCianci, but if you prefer a more whimsical experience of state power, go for @VincentCianci. We’re in the Digital Age and this is America—electing a Twitter handle to the office of mayor is totally chill.