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Comments along the lines of "we already have enough bureaucrats as it is" have been cropping up each time someone gets nominated. Why don't we discuss this? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 12:33, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

FYI, as of 12 January 2010, there are 45 bureaucrats[1]. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 12:33, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Opinion poll[edit]

We have enough bureaucrats as it is[edit]

You can never have "too many" 'crats[edit]

  • Why would it be otherwise? The bar may have to be slightly higher than for sysopship, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be pretty easy to get to be a crat.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 14:42, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Make everyone a crat. Why not? -- Nx / talk 19:18, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I really can't understand why people are talking about rationing these abilities. Can anyone even site an example of a problem incident created by having "too many crats"? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:35, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
My authority and sense of superiority is weakened by there being too many crats. -- Nx / talk 19:36, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Nx is funny. Mei is useful. Wait! Nx is useful, Mei is funny! Oh shit. ħumanUser talk:Human 10:39, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


Fix the number, change the crats[edit]

Like I suggested back at the Saloon bar. We set the number of crats, to say 31 or something, and once every six months we clean them out and elect new ones (or the same ones). I am not sold on the idea, I am just advancing it as it fixes about three problems. 1) Too many crats, as we just pick a fixed number and stick with it. 2) New people wanting to be crats, they can stand at the next election. 3) Retired crats, example 1, example 2, their "seat" is vacant until the next election and then they are replaced. - π 13:06, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, if we "fix" the number, then the position means something. So we need to then give it meaning. If you want the position, you need to prove that A) you're going to use whatever extra abilities you get from it and B) you have the responsibility for using it. So we either just give it to any user who's stuck around or we make it a position of real responsibility, and as the site is growing, we need that sort of thing.
Secondly, I'm all for de-crating inactive users. Inactive accounts don't need that status and if they come back and show an interest it'll take them about 5 minutes to get it back. But as it stands, we look at "crat" as being some super-important position, n00bs may want to speak to these people (and we DEFINITELY need responsible individuals that can talk back without being utter cunts about it) and they're going to have a hard time finding them if most users in the 'crat category are inactive. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:40, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
The SeriousWiki Cabal approves of this message. -- Nx / talk 19:15, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Agree that inactive 'crats should lose the rights (and regain them if they come back) Acei9 19:22, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd guess most of the crats have been here before most of us and were elected by not us. I don't like many of the active crats and would never have voted for them. I have it on good authority that many others wouldn't have either. These crats have been abusing and languishing in power long enough. The system needs an overhaul. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 14:47, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't see how any of the three problems listed above are actual problems - they're only problems if you presuppose that there should be a limited number of crats, which is what this debate is supposed to establish. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:04, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

I think Pi's idea has some interesting merit, although I think the "fixed" number should be a formula based on how "active" the wiki is (ie, a percentage of the number of active users, say). There is also the minor issue of thinking of cratship as being some kind of honor where sysopship is considered a "demotion". There's a good argument, I think, for creating a special "gold star" or "cabal" usergroup which, perhaps, only includes user rights management, which we could use for ex-crats. Or something like that. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:55, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

How about removing some of the non-contributing ones?[edit]

Current list with fairly inactive ones bold & last contrib dated.

  • AKjeldsen ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop) 21/3/09
  • Aboriginal Noise ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop, Vandal)
  • Ace McWicked ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Airdish ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop) 24/4/08
  • Armondikov ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Bob M ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • DLerner ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop) 17/6/2009
  • DickTurpis ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Doggedpersistence ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Edgerunner76 ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Gauss ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Genghis Khant ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Gooniepunk2010 ‎(Bureaucrat, Irrational number, Sysop, Vandal)
  • Hojimachong ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Human ‎(Bureaucrat, Irrational number, Newt, Sysop)
  • Javascap ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Jazzman831 ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop) 6/10/09
  • JeevesMkII ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Kels ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • LArron ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Lily The Pink ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Linus ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • ListenerX ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Mei II ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Moriarty ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)* see also Phantom Hoover
  • Nutty Roux ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Nx ‎(Bureaucrat, Irrational number, Sysop)
  • Phantom Hoover ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)* see also Moriarty
  • Pinto's5150 ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Psygremlin ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Radioactive afikomen ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Refugee ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Researcher ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Secret Squirrel ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Sid ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • SirChuckB ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • SuperJosh ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop, Vandal)
  • Thanatos ‎(Bureaucrat, Irrational number, Sysop)
  • Theautocrat ‎(Bureaucrat, Irrational number, Sysop, Vandal)
  • TheoryOfPractice ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Tmtoulouse ‎(Bureaucrat, oversight, Sysop, Vandal)
  • Toast ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Totnesmartin ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • WaitingforGodot ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)6/6/09
  • Weaseloid ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)
  • Yossarian ‎(Bureaucrat, Sysop)

I have just eaten Toast& stiltontalk 15:02, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

A fairly comprehensive list. I think we should decrat the lot of 'em. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:18, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. None of them do anything as a bureaucrat anyway. No one would notice a difference if there were, say, 4 bureaucrats. It's just a social badge. Make the Cabal user group and get it over with. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 15:28, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
It wouldn't be a bad idea exactly to wipe the slate while we figure out what the fuck we want to do with this position. Then we might just get to see who wants it for the sake of wanting it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:32, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
ECx 2) Crat rights:
  • Delete pages with large histories (bigdelete)
This means pages with > 2000 revisions, which would crash the wiki.
  • Edit all user rights (userrights)
  • Edit other users' CSS and JS files (editusercssjs)
Do you trust someone not to redirect you to a shock site with a bit of javascript?
  • Edit the user interface (editinterface)
Same as above
  • Not be affected by rate limits (noratelimit)
Sysops already have this, so it's irrelevant
  • Rename users (renameuser)
  • Review and restore revisions hidden from administrators (suppressrevision)
This is in addition to the sysop ability to delete revisions: crats can hide a deleted revision even from sysops.
  • Send messages to the default intercom group (intercom-sendurgent)
These messages are displayed to anons and everyone who hasn't opted out.
There are only two I've ever used promote/demote and rename user. The latter is useful for wazzocks. Other than that it's just a long service and/or popularity thing. I have just eaten Toast& stiltontalk 15:35, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
I've added explanations of what the rights are. -- Nx / talk 18:25, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
How do you feel about a service and/or popularity group thing? One without unnecessary rights? — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 15:38, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
(EC)userrights is the most commonly used there, I think if we lowered the number of crats it'd also put our sysopping back to where it was a year ago where people had to, you know, edit before getting bumped up to it. As for the rest, some are very useful, but very open to abuse. Renameuser is useful for vandals and malicious or adware accounts, so whoever gets that right needs to show responsibility to use that sort of thing when they can - similarly with suppressrevision; if we hide stuff, it needs to be for a good, clear reason and we should be able to trust people to use it wisely. The thing is, if we don't give that to enough people, we don't have the cover to deal with any potential problems quickly, if we give it to too many, it's liable for abuse, misuse or just plain arguing because so many people want to have it their way. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:43, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
With powers like that, where potentially revealing/dangerous information gets posted one also must consider the administrator's who are able to see the hidden information if they so wish. Cratship should go to established and above all trusted users. Also, I think Pi's idea is alright - I got cratted after only about 6 or 7 months and I really don't know why. SJ Debaser 16:42, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

But none of the inactive crats listed above are mistrusted any more than the active ones. What would removing their rights achieve? If anything, it might put them off returning to the site if they wanted to. I had my bureaucrat rights at another website taken away when I was inactive for a while, & it doesn't really make me inclined to put much time or effort in at that site since. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:39, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

If we go with a limited number of 'crats then we'd have to retire the inactive ones. Personally I see it as being kind of normal with any kind of "rank" that people who appear to be retired will eventually be parked. We often do the same thing in guilds for online games. Inactive officers get parked in a lower rank in order to free up the spot for someone else. It's not really a problem if there's no limit on numbers. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 19:48, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Tighten the standards a bit[edit]

I see no reason to limit the number of bureaucrats (who are we to put a limit on the number of people who are trustworthy?), but I do think that we should make attaining bureaucratship a little harder. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:47, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

At the moment I have only the half-formed idea that we should ask nominees why they want to be a bureaucrat, and their answer should be something that demonstrates they want it for more than just lulz. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:47, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

We already brought in a process of nominating & electing bureaucrats (rather than just another crat's solo decision as it was previously). So who gets to be a crat should now be more-or-less based on consensus opinion of active members. I don't see any reason to make it more complicated than that. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:43, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, again, the issue is that 'crat can mean one of two things. 1) Position of power and responsibility 2) "you've been here long enough". If it's going to have a status, and if we've got a user group distinct from sysop, then it is a status, it needs to have standards. If it's not going to have standards, limits or conditions, then there is absolutely no need for the position. I do agree with RA's position that we should ask people why they want it; I've gone through plenty of moderator applications across the internet. The standard in other forums is that your mods and admins need to know what the fuck they're doing and not just want it for the sake of wanting it, and I believe this is the standard for a good reason. Scarlet A.pngtheist 07:55, 13 January 2010 (UTC)


Perhaps I am missing something but why are we having this conversation? I mean, is anything wrong with the number of 'crats we have? I enjoy being a 'crat because I like demoting people. Its fun and friendly and I do it frequently. Are we debating the need for having 'crats or are we debating how we go about deciding 'cratship? They are to different things and personally I don't see a problem here. Enlighten me if I am wrong. Acei9 19:04, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Because of the "we have too many crats" argument whenever someone is nominated. -- Nx / talk 19:06, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, thanks Nx for clarifying. My personal opinion is that too many 'crats isn't a problem but I think we could tighten up the 'cratship procedure. Acei9 19:08, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Another thing is that the old crat debates are lost in the archives somewhere; it makes sense to have future ones in one place. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:28, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Well I reckon - Current active 'crats keep 'cratship. Inactive 'crats lose it but retain sysopship and if they return to editing frequently then we can look at recrating them (however due to absence they probably wouldn't be interested). Then we come together and try to have some sort of guideline drawn up, like the admin. abuse page. Acei9 19:32, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
From what I can see, anybody can be a sysop here without repercussions. It is not a social symbol. However there is very clearly a gap between 'established members' and 'non-established members' - established membering being 'crats. I think its a pointless institution which only furthers some lame ass real life insecurites by creating a fake sense of authority on the internetz. Sorry guys, but being a crat is pretty sad. EdmundBurke (talk) 19:14, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
thanks Marcus. Acei9 19:19, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
This must be the 7th time I've been referred to as Marcus. I am not MarcusCicero. Please stop calling me that. I took a break from this website for many weeks because I was getting called that person by every second user here. Stopit, please. EdmundBurke (talk) 19:29, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Man, for someone named after an old-school conservative, Edmund sure is one diehard commun-anarchist (in that everybody should be equal, and all social structures are oppressive). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:17, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

(un-indent) I have completely failed to have an opinion on this. Please carry on. Worm(t | c) 20:07, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

A fairly comprehensive list. I think we should decrat the lot of 'em - Armand[edit]

I'm with him, throw out all the incompetent scoundrels. Nutty and I might (or might not) present our New Clear Days happy new wiki idea tomorrow. Depending on which of us wakes up first and which of us starts drinking first. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:16, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

It's certainly the easiest thing to do while we thrash it out. Gives everything a level playing field, no one would be fighting to retain something and go with the status quo any more. As is mentioned at the bottom of the ad hoc article, most things work by incremental ad hoc changes that result in something no one would have designed if given the option. We have the option of changing this thing wholesale to something far more useful, meaningful and effective. Firstly, we need to figure out if we even need the extra usergroup in the first place. I say we do need it, but only on the proviso that the position actually means something and dishes out rights and responsibilities in pretty much equal measure. Or, if it is going to be outright meaningless, scrap the position entirely - which is the only way to ensure the position is as meaningless as we claim it to be - and leave it as sysop for the mostly harmless and the two or three guys with server access. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:49, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Ignoring the more arcane "rights" crats have that sysops don't, there are a couple-three that are relatively important, or at least used a lot here. The most obvious is sysopping new editors after they make 3 "mostly harmless" edits. The other two, which are less frequent but more important in some ways, are de-sysopping rogues and renaming offensive user names. Can't just leave that to 3 people with server access. Likewise the hide revision thing for privacy violations. That said, in order for things to "run" smoothly ideally what we want is redundant coverage 'round the clock (which we pretty much seem to have right now). Also also, perhaps we should make those first 3 a new rights group (like "user management"? "demotion committee"?) and leave all the weird hard core crat stuff someone listed above to the server minders? Just rambling here... ħumanUser talk:Human 01:05, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Apologies for resurrecting an eight-month-old forum, but I've been thinking along the lines of Human here - why not create a new user group that has the "dangerous" abilities (bigdelete, editusercssjs, editinterface, intercom-sendurgent) for heavy-duty 'crats like Human, Nx et al, and only give the "bureaucrat" group renameuser, userrights, and suppressrevision? Blue (pester) 01:39, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Last time I checked, the ability to rename users and change user rights is more "dangerous" then being able to edit the interface. In fact, being able to edit MediaWiki pages is just about the only thing I miss about the past. But that does sound like a good idea anyway, there is no reason anyone should be allowed to delete WIGOCP or anything like that. I would say give the normal 'crat group renameuser, userrights, suppressrevision, editinterface, and intercom-sendurgent, and leave the editusercssjs and bigdelete for the cabal. --Oniontalk/edits 02:27, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Why would userrights and renameuser be dangerous? Both can be easily undone in most cases. Per Susan above, allowing all but the most trustworthy to edit the interface (and other users' interfaces) might open the door to vandalism and such:  ❝ Do you trust someone not to redirect you to a shock site with a bit of javascript? ❞ 
That, and per Susan and Nx above, use of bigdelete would "crash the wiki." I believe something like that actually happened some time ago when someone deleted TWIGO:CP over a privacy issue. Blue (pester) 03:36, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, the obvious one is the prank where you block people and remove their user rights. I recall some goon attempting it in the early days of Conservapedia but was stopped just before he managed to demote Schlafly himself down to a mere mook. But it's possible to do if you're quick enough. And renaming users renames the user, and thus changes log-in details. Not a nice thing to do without asking for it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 03:40, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
But still, user rights can be edited through the server itself, I believe. And I doubt there would be period where everyone was away for long enough to not notice some idiot literally breaking the wiki. Blue (pester) 03:42, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
It only takes about five minutes with the right preparation - and I've seen the wiki dry up for much longer. And you have to remember that the person undoing it would have to do so quickly, and before they themselves were locked out. That Trent could fix it later isn't much help, as he isn't sat glued to the server 24/7. It would be a very serious problem if someone pulled it off. Not that I've done a trial run of such a thing... Scarlet A.pngtheist 03:49, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
True. I'm not advocating for doling out cratships like we do sysopships - just for another level in the hierarchy to make the "pyramid of power" more like a pyramid. So people have less reason to complain that "we have too many crats already," which was mostly why this forum was started. (That, and something has to get MC to keep up the fascism accusations.) Blue (pester) 03:56, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Maybe someone could design a lockout mechanism, to prevent any user from decratting ~3 users in less then ~15 minutes. Nx has access to the server and acts as a backup for Trent. --Oniontalk/edits 14:05, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I can see no reason for anyone to decrat more than one a day unless it was part of some official scheme. Three in 15 minutes already sounds like a galloping abuse of power.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:09, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
It's very simple: we just need some glue. Broccoli (talk) 14:17, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
The most important thing here is to make me a 'crat. I want to be a 'crat. Me me ME! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:35, 4 October 2010 (UTC)