Spartacus.app

"Kickstarter" for Collective Action

Spartacus.app is a tool for ordinary people to create or join social, political, and economic collective action campaigns - while minimizing personal risk and maximizing group impact and effectiveness.

Start, or join a movement, in safety.

Some causes face strong opposition and require a group effort. Get involved while concealing your identity to avoid intimidation or retaliation.

Gain allies, anonymously.

Spread the word, and recruit others, without risking exposure. No action is taken until the group reaches a designated size.

Take action, collectively.

When a threshold is crossed, the power of numbers replaces the safety of anonymity. Everyones' identity is revealed simultaneously to enable coordination, solidarity and support.

Get in touch

This project is currently in development. If you'd like to get involved, sign up for our upcoming beta, or have any questions or feedback please contact us.

We're especially interested in talking to people with social science, behavioral economics, and Game Theory backgrounds.

How Spartacus.app Works

Anyone can create a campaign anonymously. The campaign creator establishes the purpose, writes the description, a plan of action, and sets a "Critical Threshold" - the minimum number of participants at which everyone, anonymous up to that point, is simultaneously deanonymized.

It's up to the creator to decide what this number should be.

After the campaign is created, it becomes publicly visible at a static URL. From here, the creator can begin promoting it to a target audience - sharing the link via email, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, or any other method of posting and sharing anonymously.

Anyone can anonymously join the campaign from the public page and share it in the same way. The page is updated in real-time to reflect the number of pledged participants, and how far it is from reaching the Critical Threshold.

When the Critical Threshold is reached, all participants are de-anonymized simultaneously - exchanging the safety of anonymity for the safety of numbers, instantly!

Everyone's identity and chosen contact info is shared via email with the other members of the campaign, along with instructions from the organizer on what to do next.

Now with the power, protection, leverage, and support of a group, the campaign can continue to spread, and accelerate in public.

Spartacus has done its job.

The Problem

Trying to make a difference is never easy.

A single person is usually powerless to change anything. Often, there's opposition. But the more people coordinate and work together, the higher the chance of success.

In an ideal world, anyone with a persuasive idea could speak openly and find allies without fear.

In the real world, individuals who attempt to change things - like organizing a union, blowing the whistle on corruption, or defending something unpopular, can face harsh resistance - even punishment - for speaking up, or taking action.

If the risk is high enough, and the cost painful enough, most people can be intimidated into silence, dishonesty, and inaction.

When this affects large groups, it causes a phenomenon called Preference Falsification, where many people self-censor their honest opinions and desires. Since we can't read minds, we don't know if we're surrounded by potential allies, or dangerously alone. Given the consequences of trying to find out, most don't.

If everyone who shared a belief or goal could safely band together, the risk to each person would diminish at the same time their collective power increased. As strength rises and risk falls, more and more people are inclined to participate. This is called a Preference Cascade, i.e. The Bandwagon Effect.

Willingness to act in the context of a strong group effort is much higher than acting alone. Unfortunately, the "First Mover" is taking the biggest risk in the weakest position. Almost no one wants to do it, but everyone wants to benefit from others doing it. This is a Collective Action Problem.

A climate of fear. Rampant dishonesty. Rational risk-aversion. The inability to seek out and coordinate with allies. This tragic combination of factors pre-empts the process of change before it can begin.

It's not hard to see how a status quo can persist on inertia, despite widespread dissatisfaction.

Take a stand, make a change, fight back.
But only together, never alone.

Spartacus is a tool that combines insights into incentive-driven social behavior, with a technical process that solves the First Mover problem, Coordination Problems, the Preference Falsification problem and (hopefully) induces Preference Cascades.

Whereas early-stage group coordination in adversarial conditions would typically be logistically difficult and prohibitively high-risk, Spartacus allows people to create or join collective action campaigns under conditional anonymity designed to eliminate these obstacles.

By making the threshold for participation contingent on collective action efficacy, using the pre/post "critical threshold" approach to campaign activation, Spartacus mitigates two kinds of risk participants face - social/economic retaliation and personal opportunity cost/ROI - raising the expected value of participation significantly.

Use Cases

The use cases for Spartacus.app can vary widely and are ideologically agnostic by design. That said, some subjects and objectives would be out-of-bounds for obvious legal reasons. Here are some hypothetical examples of campaigns:

Unionizing Veggies R Us Distribution Center Workers.Presenting an alternative DEI training curriculum at Hopscotch inc.Sexual Harassment in the Marketing Department at Fradazzle.ioConcerned parents of Cedar Winds Country Day School against changes to the curriculum.Faculty of University X in support of our unfairly persecuted colleague YWhistleblowers at Enbition Energy Inc exposing accounting malfeasance.Those yet to be named by Robespierre, against Robespierre.

Get in touch

This project is currently in development. If you'd like to get involved, sign up for our upcoming beta, or have any questions or feedback please contact us.

We're especially interested in talking to people with social science, behavioral economics, and Game Theory backgrounds.

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Thank you

We'll respond ASAP. We hope you're as excited about this project as we are!