|This page in a nutshell: Bureaucrats have the option of holding a discussion with other bureaucrats when they are unsure as to how to interpret consensus at an RfX discussion.|
A bureaucrat discussion or 'crat chat is a procedure by which bureaucrats on Wikipedia can discuss whether consensus is present at a particular request for adminship (RfA) or request for bureaucratship (RfB). They can also be held for resysop requests if there is a doubt concerning the suitability for restoration of admin permissions.
Bureaucrat discussions should not be confused with the regular discussions, involving bureaucrats, at the bureaucrats' noticeboard and on other pages.
Bureaucrat discussions are only held when a bureaucrat is unsure whether consensus has been reached in an RFA or RFB. Typically, these are borderline cases, or ones in which unusual circumstances apply.
Before restoring the administrator flag, a bureaucrat should be reasonably convinced that the user has returned to activity or intends to return to activity as an editor. Should there be doubt concerning the suitability for restoration of admin permissions, the restoration shall be delayed until sufficient discussion has occurred and a consensus established through a bureaucrat chat.
Holding a bureaucrat discussion ensures that the decision making process in such cases is transparent. However, as bureaucrat discussions delay a decision and can take considerable time on the part of bureaucrats, they are used only as a last resort, after measures such as extending the RFA or RFB have been considered. They are not used for all controversial cases; if the closing bureaucrat can determine consensus alone, there is no need for a bureaucrat discussion.
A bureaucrat discussion is started by one bureaucrat placing an RFA or RFB on hold. This ends the discussion on the RFA or RFB and prevents any more comments in support or opposition being added.
The bureaucrat then creates a subpage of the RFA or RFB's page, on which to hold the bureaucrat discussion. They start a discussion by giving an explanation of why they feel unable to determine consensus, and highlight some areas which the discussion may need to address. The discussion is linked from the RFA or RFB. Finally, the bureaucrat informs other active bureaucrats of the discussion, both on their user talk pages and on the bureaucrats' noticeboard.
To keep the discussion focused, it is open only to bureaucrats (other editors may comment on the associated talk page). Bureaucrats who have taken a position on the RFA or RFB itself are expected to state this and recuse themselves from the discussion. The talk page of the bureaucrat discussion is available for all users to comment on the ongoing discussion, and bureaucrats will often respond directly to comments made there.
Past experience has shown that bureaucrat discussions usually work best when they operate over a short time frame. Once several bureaucrats have participated, if agreement arises, the RFA or RFB is closed as usual. If no agreement among the bureaucrats emerges after one to two days, a common proposal will be to close the RFA or RFB as "no consensus", given that as a group, the bureaucrats cannot determine consensus.
Previous bureaucrat discussions
|Discussion||Type||Date||Duration in hours||Outcome||Initiated by||Closed by|
|Danny||RfA||April 9, 2007||4||Successful||Taxman||Rdsmith4|
|Gracenotes||RfA||May 31, 2007||134||No consensus||Cecropia||Cecropia|
|Cobi||RfA||October 10, 2007||17||No consensus||Deskana||Cecropia|
|Remember the dot||RfA||October 28, 2007||13||No consensus||Deskana||Deskana|
|Riana||RfB||March 6, 2008||60||No consensus||WJBscribe||WJBscribe|
|Avraham 2||RfB||May 12, 2008||3||No consensus||Kingturtle||Taxman|
|Kww 3||RfA||October 17, 2009||44||No consensus||WJBscribe||Andrevan|
|Nihonjoe 4||RfB||November 25, 2009||82||Successful||Avraham||EVula|
|Juliancolton 2||RfB||January 2, 2010||26||No consensus||Nihonjoe||Nihonjoe|
|Lear's Fool||RfA||January 9, 2011||47||Successful||X!||EVula|
|Mlpearc||RfA||August 11, 2012||16||No consensus||Pakaran||Pakaran|
|Salvidrim||RfA||January 13, 2013||24||Successful||Avraham||Avraham|
|Trappist the monk||RfA||September 16, 2013||24||Successful||WJBscribe||WJBscribe|
|Lugia2453||RfA||November 4, 2013||36||No consensus||Wizardman||Xeno|
|SarekOfVulcan 3||RfA||January 25, 2014||57||No consensus||Maxim||Xeno|
|Mkativerata 2||RfA||August 9, 2014||31||No consensus||Writ Keeper||Xeno|
|Rich Farmbrough 2||RfA||July 5, 2015||27||No consensus||Maxim||WJBscribe|
|Cyberpower678||RfA||July 10, 2015||31||No consensus||WJBscribe||WJBscribe|
|Liz||RfA||August 4, 2015||37||Successful||WJBscribe||Maxim|
|Hawkeye7 2||RfA||February 1, 2016||27||No consensus||Avraham||Nihonjoe|
|Godsy||RfA||December 5, 2016||36||No consensus||WJBscribe||Xeno|
|GoldenRing||RfA||April 7, 2017||40||Successful||WJBscribe||Maxim|
|Jbhunley||RfA||August 7, 2018||42||No consensus||Xaosflux||Xeno|
|RexxS||RfA||April 8, 2019||60||Successful||Maxim||Dweller|
|Floquenbeam 2||RfA||July 29, 2019||92||Successful||Primefac||Primefac|
|Money emoji||RfA||February 18, 2020||107||Successful||Primefac||Primefac|
- Non-standard chats
- In July 2018, a non-standard 'crat chat formed regarding a resysop request, running for about 70 hours before closing successfully.