Stewards/Confirm/2020/Mardetanha

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Mardetanha[edit]

logs: rights, globalauth, gblblock, gblrights | translate: translation help, statement

English:
  • Languages: fa, az, en, tr-2- ar-1
  • Personal info: Dear all, like most of years before I was acting as an steward and helping wmf movement throughout my capacities, I would like to serve as steward in upcoming year as there is no special change in my life is expected, in the past year I was avaiable on IRC helping with emergencies and my focus also was on proxy detection.

Comments about Mardetanha[edit]

  • Neutral Neutral Activity was okay but I can't support after their closing of Requests for comment/Do something about azwiki which basically consisted of a supervote. Rschen7754 14:08, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    • About the points raised below: I'm not really sure what to think. I think the concerns are legitimate, but that is something for WMF to make a ruling on, not us. But I think we are putting ElectCom in a difficult position: the concerns could be dismissed as irrelevant, but at some point you have to consider whether the community trusts Mardetanha in general, and the lower the support percentage gets the harder it is to make an affirmative declaration. If the concerns were expressed on the election side, they probably would cause the candidacy to fall below 80%.
    • This could be spun as a wisdom/judgment issue (should candidates be in outreach to both the Iran government AND have access to private data?) and then could be considered relevant. But if it remained a legal issue, this could preclude anyone in Iran having CU/OS, which would have significant consequences for fawiki. A lot to think about here. --Rschen7754 07:41, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
      • But that all being said I really don't like the defensive attitude Mardetanha is putting on here, it's not the first time this has come up before (see Meta:Requests for adminship/Mardetanha 2 and related discussions). These are legitimate concerns and getting defensive isn't going to help. --Rschen7754 07:51, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
        • As of the issue of CU/OS preclusion, I had emailed T&S for them to clarify. --Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 08:13, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
@Rschen7754 and TonyBallioni: Excuse me, The following discussions raised a question. What information can a government attains through a Steward which might be dangerous for wikipedians. I can not find any kind of such information on Stewards' authorities. Does Steward has any access to real identity or location of a wikipedian?--Sa.vakilian (talk) 08:10, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
      • User:Rschen7754. The policy of Persian Wikipedia is no CU living inside Iran, under no circumstances. No one has even become CU in fawiki while being in Iran. Even CUs travelling to Iran give back their rights temporarily (and almost all CUs we have ever had are anonymous making them safer while travelling to Iran, so the chance of people taking over their account and saying "oh I'm back in Germany, give me my rights" is lower). I'm not anonyms but I haven't visited Iran since I got my rights and I'm not planning to do it in any foreseeable future. HTH Amir (talk) 21:22, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Weak Keep Keep I deliberated quite a fair bit, activity is definitely good, but I hope the above mentioned case doesn't repeat again. --Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 14:09, 8 February 2020 (UTC) striken per needing more time to think through all the issues raised. --Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 07:30, 9 February 2020 (UTC) strike full vote, will elaborate on my new viewpoint below--Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 12:15, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep per Camouflaged Mirage. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 14:30, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    • Neutral Neutral I really like you as a person, but the concerns mentioned are rather grave and alarming. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 05:30, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
      Striking my neutral vote here to avoid confusion. I have elaborated my views below. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 02:49, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep ‐‐1997kB (talk) 14:53, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    Remove Remove Concerns raised by Amir are valid. I think they should volunteerly resign for personal safety and measure to stop Iranian government if they wanted to extract information from them. ‐‐1997kB (talk) 05:20, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    Gave it another thought and my opinion is Keep Keep, because it is a fact that they have contributed without any issues for a decade and in such cases I think I should give more weight to fact instead of a hypothetical situation represented by remove comments. Also it seems bit unfair to blame a volunteer because of their government. ‐‐1997kB (talk) 07:50, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • to be fair, that was the entire stewards list saying they weren’t going to implement the consensus and he just got stuck delivering the message. It was a super vote, but I can’t blame the messenger. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:00, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    • I get that, and I am disappointed in stewards as a group for doing that but - nobody made Mardetanha deliver the message. --Rschen7754 18:46, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Since I spoke the languge (azeri native), I think others kinda thought I should do it Mardetanha talk 20:28, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--Turkmen talk 15:07, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep per TonyBallioni. -- CptViraj (📧) 15:17, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    Neutral Neutral -- CptViraj (📧) 01:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep What Tony says is correct, in the first place what he did is already considered outreach activity, which not many stewards willing to do.
    -- Sorry struck my comment until Mardetanha can answer Amir Oppose in a satisfactory manners, that oppose is quite a strong one and he did make sense.--AldnonymousBicara? 16:18, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove. I like mardetanha and in an ideal world my vote would have been different but given his heavy involvement with the Iranian government, like having a session with the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance that caused controversies like this and giving interviews on behalf of Wikipedia and Wikimedia in the state TV that is famous for cooperating with the IRGC in violating human rights (torture, kill, Soviet like forced interviews, etc.). I think he should not have access to users' private data. As an Iranian Wikipedian I know for a fact that the government is interested in manipulating Wikipedia and he would be great asset in that regard, for his safety and other users living in iran, I don't think he should keep the right. Note, I'm CU in fawiki, I know what I'm saying Amir (talk) 16:05, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Comment Comment I did my best in my capacity to advocate for what I believe in and I did my best to raise awareness about Wikipedia around the world not only Iran, I was unfortunate to be born in country like this and I am not happy about it, I have been a steward for about decade now. I have been always carefull with what I do and how should protect my online activities. Other fellow steward oversight my activity, Ombudsman commission also oversight. My goverment is bad but it has nothing to do with me, I should be judged based on my actions. Heavy invlovtment is a Big Lie, WMF closley looked at the incident, and Reperoted this back. The allegations of government interference in these media articles were examined by Persian Wikipedia volunteers and Wikimedia staff, but were found to be unsubstantiated. There was an event held at the Iranian Ministry of Culture in collaboration with volunteers in September 2018 centered on outreach and public awareness. In our conversations with volunteers on Persian Wikipedia, they confirmed this was the focus and intent of the event.

Mardetanha talk 20:26, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

As another Iranian, this has nothing to do with country of your birth, and nothing with the government you suffer from, I know this better than anyone else. You didn't chose your country or your place of residence (it's sometimes out of your control) but the fact still remains that you closely work with the Iranian government and not for bad or inhumane purposes, it's just outreach but still it's unacceptable for me. You can't deny that you had a session with the ministry of "Culture and Islamic guidance". You can't deny that you went and gave an interview with the State TV while practically everyone asked you not to do (which happened after the link you mentioned above). Regarding oversight of your actions, I still can think of ways that your rights can be abused without anyone noticing (I'm a CU, right?), I wouldn't publicly explain what but I can share my concerns with Ombs Com or other stewards. Amir (talk) 20:55, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
We have been 100 % transparent about our activities and will continue to do our work in Iran. Mardetanha talk 21:07, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Great and as long as WMF thinks this is not violating US laws or the agreement terms, it's okay for me but I think doing outreach work with an oppressive government and having access to the private data can not go together. If you were a rather unknown user in Iran, my vote would have been different but you chose to do this kind of collaboration with the government. Amir (talk) 21:20, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Again this is a pure false allegation, Me (also other group members) have never been working with Iranian Goverment and I deny this accusation as it is 100% false. WMF looked to this allegation and provided the feedback that it was false. Instead of being judged by my action as 10 years long steward, I am being judged beucase of my bad goverment Mardetanha talk 21:25, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
Mardetanha, this has nothing to do with the possibility of you voluntarily releasing information, an issue where I fully trust you. The problem is that the Iranian government knows your identity, and knows the information they can extract from you if they consider it necessary. Let's put it simply: you, as a steward, have basically all userrights on all Wikimedia projects, and you live in a country with a government infamous for its disregarding of human rights in favor of seeking expansion of it's power. The possibility of problems comes not from you, but from your government coercing or forcing you to give them private information or take certain onwiki actions. Vermont (talk) 03:39, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep JackPotte (talk) 16:38, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove per Amir. Mahir256 (talk) 17:23, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Neutral Neutral There are some concerns here. But since you're a good user I'm remaining neutral. --Stïnger (会話) 18:39, 8 February 2020 (UTC).
  • Remove Remove Ladsgroup shared his concerns with me in private because as a CU/OS on another project I can see some of his concerns. I unfortunately agree with his assessment that this level of closeness to the government poses an unacceptable level of risk based on actions that cannot be logged or overseen by stewards or OC. I’m really sorry. I don’t want to oppose, but there are very valid RL safety concerns here. Let me also clarify that I think nothing wrong has been done as of yet, and that my concern here is the risk that Amir has pointed out. I am still open to reconsidering things as this goes on, but because of risk this is where I am now. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:15, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    • Coming back around, I am very torn on this. I trust Mardetanha personally, but I also take the concerns and experiences that others have raised here seriously, and think that there experiences and concerns are valid as well. I also disagree with the view that T&S at this time has the capacity to do risk assessment on all functionaries as has been suggested. Ultimately, I think this highlights a very difficult place that we’re in as a movement. I don’t know the best course of action here, but in an ideal world we would be able to keep a good steward while addressing risks. My comment above is still true, but I wanted to add this in case it helps with the discussion. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:59, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove I was waiting for Mardetanha's response before deciding but I cannot in good conscience support the candidacy of someone who undermines neutrality and facts in favor of state sponsored propagandaand I am deeply concerned by the issues brought up by Amir and the real world consequences of such things. Praxidicae (talk) 21:22, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
I've amended my statement as I misinterpreted some things that were said but I still stand by my other concerns about sensitive data access. I don't think we should punish people for their government but there are also a real life consequences for thousands of other editors and people fulfilling this role that is not compatible with access to such data at this time. Praxidicae (talk) 14:23, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove ToBeFree (talk) 21:37, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep experienced Wikimedian, I see no reason to be against him. Kindly, --Mehman 97 21:47, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove per Amir. — Hamid Hassani (talk) 22:10, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove per Amir stwalkerster (talk) 22:21, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep - Though I see the concerns given, I do not see a change in the danger, and see that Mardetanha has been a steward for a long time without a problem. I trust he can do his job. Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 23:16, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
    • Yes, but stewards have more access to private data than they did in the past. (Not going into specifics here). --Rschen7754 05:23, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    • And for me what changed is his involvement and outreach work with the government. I don't think he's a bad person or he has been doing anything wrong but I think the threshold of risk has passed this year for me. Amir (talk) 09:12, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep -J. Ansari Talk 03:27, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

*Neutral Neutral I'd love to know if there are some good news for the de facto bad Azerbaijan-Armenia relations or not. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 03:43, 9 February 2020 (UTC)

  • Remove Remove --Minorax (talk) 04:07, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove I do not trust the government of Iran. I have nothing against Mardetanha, but I do not want my personal information in the hands of Islamic Republic of Iran. per Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran -- Eatcha (talk) 04:25, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove 1989 (talk) 04:35, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep - I am shocked that appearance on TV and outreach is considered as bad for one Wikipedian. - Violetova (talk) 11:02, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    User:Violetova: This is not just any other TV. Read this report done by a human rights organization on the state TV and what they have been doing. Amir (talk) 00:59, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
    But the result of presenting user's image in any other public TV, on Commons or anywhere else is exactly the same: the user image becomes known to Iranian as well as to any other government. Maybe, the concerns raised here are valid, but I would prefer te see T&S opinion it this matter than random users' (from various communities) opinions. There are much more stewards whose image is known to governements, see images from Wikimania Steward Meeteng on Commons.
    At the moment I see some discriminative issues here, like "while you live in a hostile enviroment, you should not support Wikimedia this way" position. Ankry (talk) 06:56, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
    User:Ankry: Regarding "At the moment I see some discriminative issues here": I am myself Iranian and lots of people voting to remove here also not just Iranian but some live in Iran as well. This is matter of being afraid of our own safety. Let me say it this way, if we have a steward living in Russia, I would be cool with it but not with a steward who lives in Russia and gives interviews under real name and such in RT. I hope that's clear that this is not discriminative in any sense. Amir (talk) 01:12, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --Gereon K. (talk) 12:09, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment I have given this a through thought. This issue isn't that simple. I had fully considered Amir viewpoints and Mardetanha responses. I will note that in the diff that Mardetanha given, WMF seems to have cleared him. It is relatively unclear if Mardetanha have any links with govt of Iran. I am wondering how that will affect us here. For me, the government knows my name, address, and etc including medical information as well as security information. What is the difference between normal government information gathering vs the Iran approach, will Iran force Mardetanha to give up sensitive CU information on detractors of Iran (I recall a previous case involving Turkey/Eygpt - just can't recall it)? Will it be cater Blanche that every one living in such a nation with less than ideal press freedom / human rights record to be denied a functionary position and stewardship? How objective are those standards? In the west, given the current FISA omissions documentated in DOJ IG report, such surveillance will take place even if there is free press and good human rights record. (Pardon my POV here). I wonder did Amir asked T&S/WMF to intervene earlier and why wait till now. I am of the viewpoint that this confirmation isn't the right platform to deal with this. I will think we need to hear in depth from both sides and hence, the most appropriate forum is either a global RFC if this can be heard in public or the OC/T&S for private evidences. The azwp close is not ideal, the choice of messenger is not the best, but to be honest I cannot see any fault in Mardetanha other action. I will not say keep/remove, just stating Amir point is important and may hold a preceedence in future confirmations and we ought to investigate it better before passing any judgements as the consequences may be far reaching.--Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 12:27, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Camouflaged Mirage for your fair assessment, I will try to respond to 3 main allegations here. I am the founder of User Group in Iran and have been active for many years in the area raising awareness about Wikipedia and sister projects in Iran and other countries. Our user group holds 100% transparency policy which means what we do are reported on meta, our twitter, Telegram channel, Instagram and more of Wikipedia itself, in summer 2018 we were invited to the bureau of media studies and planning (me + 3 long-term wikipedians), The bureau is academic venue which holds regular meeting for different scholars and academics and Media people. We accepted their offer and took part in the meeting as I advocate for Wikipedia in every opportunity I get, two days after the meeting I have uploaded pictures to commons, we are video recorded and voice recorded the event. it has been our policy since the beginning if it was a covert operation or anything the first rule is to be secretive about it. after that meeting, I had another steward reconfirmation last year and the issue was not brought up. WMF trust and safety later issued a statement about this and they cleared us from everything.
  1. This year we had Farsi Wikipedia 16th birthday in Tehran, A journalist from Iranian TV channel 4 (which is a scientific channel by essence) invited me to participate in a live program about Wikipedia, The program is called charkh which focuses on Technology and engineering, Medical science, Fundamental science, Cognitive sciences, philosophy and history of science Environment and natural resource. Before accepting their offer I had a lengthy discussion with other User group members and we decided to accept the offer, After acceptance of the offer, I also had 30 minutes online discussion with Trust and safety team and it was cleared that I need to use my own assessment to go or not which I did, the program is available online and almost everyone was happy with outcome and my discussions there.
  2. [ REDACTED — regards, Revi 22:15, 12 February 2020 (UTC) ]
  3. I have been an elected local CU on Meta and Commons in the past, I am local oversight in Fawiki, I am currently serving as Wikimedia Foundation elections committee and Wikimania 2020 Scholarship Committee. For many years I have been dealing with sensitive data and signed multiple NDAs. My Government is bad but I should be judged based on activities. Thanks Mardetanha talk 15:40, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    [ REDACTED — regards, Revi 22:15, 12 February 2020 (UTC) ] Amir (talk) 12:48, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I should have explained things in a clearer way, that's my fault and let me try to give another shot at it. There are two different things that should be seen separately and then together. 1- Doing outreach and collaboration with the Iranian government. 2- Having access to the private data. 1 is not bad per se, while as matter of principle I would never do it but as long WMF T&S, legal and other parts are okay. I have no say in it (I leave it to the experts). It can be useful for Wikipedia, it can change mindsets, etc. WMF cleared him of wrongdoing in 1 (I also need to mention that WMF didn't clear him of giving an interview in the state TV, that happened after the WMF statement) I never thought it was a wrongdoing either. 2 is not wrong on its own either, even for a person living in Iran, if you lay low, even if you tell a handful of people your real identity, it's, for me, on the level of "acceptable risk" (we can never be sure a system is 100% safe, we can say it's safe enough). The problem arises when 1 and 2 combines. You can't be in contact with the government on regular basis and at the same time have access to sensitive data putting lives of real people in danger. It's not even the satellite orgs of the government (like the national library). It's the ministry itself, it's the state TV itself.
    I have been living in Germany for a couple of years now and while I understand no government is perfect and it's more of a spectrum but the Iranian government plays in a different league, they shut down the whole internet in Iran for a week and killed more 1500 people in streets by opening fire on protests. Comparing it with other governments would reduce the severity of the situation.
    Regarding intervention of WMF, I have been talking to them but I don't think WMF should intervene in community processes (liked demoting elected stewards) unless absolutely necessary, we, the community, have the responsibility to care about our users privacy. Just leaving it on hands of WMF is not right IMO. HTH Amir (talk) 14:01, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
    As per my comments above and Jianhui67 did a good analysis below too, I know that Mardetanha made some sort of assurance that that person operating the account is in a safe environment (which is rightly oversighted alongside Amir following comments). If stewards group can have another way to ensure he is operating safely and appropriately (not that method that is OSed - as it is out in the public for a while), I will say Keep Keep. I did emailed T&S about the suitablity of candidates from certain country and ask them to make a decision but they still didn't replied me which is understandable given the complexity of this types of cases (and I did receive an acknowledgement they are looking into it). Barring any announcements from T&S, this will be my final take in this confirmation.--Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 14:12, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment Comment I don't see sufficient elements above to understand why people are opposing confirmation. From the linked interview I understand that people don't appreciate Mardetanha's skills as communicator or PR person, but that's not something I'd like to judge stewards for. If we establish that being too close to a national government is incompatible with being a steward, that's fine, but by the standard applied above we'd also need to remove any steward who organised an editathon for a federal USA institution or any of the other many collaborations wikimedians had with USA federal agencies etc. I understand that some people may have written less than they know out of respect of privacy. Nemo 13:53, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Actually we do frequently have issues with data access of individuals living in countries with Authoritarian regimes. See these examples. This isn't a reflection on Mardentanha for the same reasons it was't a reflection of zhwp checkusers. Praxidicae (talk) 14:23, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Nemo, I vaguely remember we have egyptian/arabic checkuser who got detained because government want to use this user CU access, we are just worried about Mardetanha wellbeing in the real world.--AldnonymousBicara? 14:39, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Aldnonymous I am fully aware of my situation and I think I can assess it better than anyone, couple of years ago a french admin was detained and forced to delete an article, are we going to de-steward everyone from France? Mardetanha talk 15:45, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
Not to mention that, to date, the most relevant case of a wikimedian who died as direct consequence of government persecution is Aaron Swartz in USA. We might want to remove the bits from all users in USA for their security, but it wouldn't necessarily serve our mission.
If we want to protect our users, we can add special logging for anomalous activity, especially from Five Eyes countries. Nemo 08:46, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--Surprizi (talk) 16:12, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --Mikheil Talk 16:42, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--Bojana Wiki PG (talk) 16:47, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --BoMaric (talk) 09:24, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--Hatorcat (talk) 16:58, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove per TonyBallioni and others. Too much drama for a functionary. Miniapolis 18:01, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--Jaba1977 (talk) 18:58, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Linedwell [talk] 19:15, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep As sysop in Farsi Wikpedia and Tajik wikipedia, I knew Mardetanha better than anyone, I have been working with him for 10 years and he has been nothing but trustworthy and helpfull. Darafsh Kaviyani (Talk) 19:19, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Steward actions are under control by other stewards. We cannot assume that if somebody can be enforced to do anything against rules, then they will do that. This can happen to anybody anywhere, not only in Iran. I believe that Mardetanha will drop their rights when being supposed to misuse the rights. I trust them and I am against preventive actions. Ankry (talk) 19:58, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep. Has my trust, especially in the light of other stewards being able to watch out for him and any other steward on duty. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 20:08, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep What next? Shall we get rid of the stewards from Russia or Turkey? Gdarin | talk 20:12, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove per Amir, Tony, and the bizarre close of that RfC. ST47 (talk) 20:45, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Mohsen is a person I trust a lot and I never saw or heard any suspicious behavior from him that would make me change my mind so far. Regards -- Anass Sedrati (talk) 21:24, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--David1010 (talk) 05:37, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove Whilst sympathetic to your difficult situation. -- BlackcurrantTea (talk) 09:36, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--MacedonianBoy (talk) 10:41, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove As Mardetanha's personal information is known publicly and by the Iranian government, it is an extreme security risk to maintain his steward rights. There are a few keep comments above that mention trust; this has nothing to do with our trust of Mardetanha, and rather with our trust of the Iranian government not to detain or force Mardetanha to release private information. And when viewed from that angle, as the Iranian government is aware that Mardetanha has access to nearly all private information on Wikimedia projects, I see an extreme net negative in retaining them as a steward. Vermont (talk) 11:08, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Vermont, I think this is not fair, I have been a steward for the past 10 years, currently second-longest-serving steward, I have been able to protect my rights since the first day, nothing has changed since years before for me and the government, we have stewards from Bangladesh, Ukraine, Turkey, jordan, Russia ... all with a bad records of human rights, are we going to lose all of them because of their government? sorry this inhumane and unfair, should I suffer because of my government atrocities? Mardetanha talk 12:38, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Do other stewards in those countries involve heavily in government activities? Like giving interview on the state TV? Ten years ago I voted yes to your stewardship, something I don't regret because you were rather unknown in Iran, you weren't doing such public and government-related activities but these you do and that's the difference. Amir (talk) 12:52, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Amir you have already stated your opinion and you keep repeating government-related activities nonsense which is far from the truth, it is time for you to cool down Mardetanha talk 12:56, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Trusted steward and i think there is't reason to be against him.--eldarado 12:35, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --cyrfaw (talk) 13:34, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--MichelBakni (talk) 15:12, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I haven't any concerns about Mardetanha, unnecessary worries. Sakhalinio (talk) 17:04, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove La coince (talk) 19:57, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support It will take a lot for me to oppose someone just because of his government, even though I agree that the concerns are bizarrely valid. That being said, I would enforce 2FA at the very least, and ask him to let other stewards know if at all he is in danger of having to do something that he shouldn't. Leaderboard (talk) 23:28, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep for as long as Mardetanha has been a steward, there has been no issues with Iranian government interference or access to his account, and the trail of breadcrumbs given above seems unconvincing to me. If there are serious issues with the integrity of Mardetanha's account, I think that those concerns should be forwarded to T&S, rather than be decided upon by a bunch of people who have no expertise or real basis for their opinions here. Just my 2c, I know we're all here with best intentions, but I think these comments are missing the mark. No concerns with Mardetanha's experience or contributions as a steward. – Ajraddatz (talk) 04:49, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove per Vermont. Lepricavark (talk) 06:43, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove Based on concerns raised by Ladsgroup, thank you for your work though. Sintakso (talk) 09:30, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep. The Living love (talk) 10:11, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Neutral Neutral The whole Iranian government situation has put me in a limbo. It seems to be a lot of anti-Iran narratives being pushed around, so I'm abstaining from opposing... but I'm not ignoring the poor track-record of human rights in Iran. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 16:32, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I've decided to just bite the bullet and trust Mardetanha, Mard has never let me down and I decide to trust him again. Go! Do what you think is right!--AldnonymousBicara? 16:54, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I read the whole thread with great interest, and I really am dumbfounded by the concerns Amir has raised here. Let me give a perspective from my country (Greece), which is not in the category of Iran or Turkey or Egypt or Ukraine etc. as concerns human rights (BTW excellent points raised by the users who mentioned other countries with a track record of HR violations). I am an active Wikipedian, I have presented numerous times in venues and events loosely associated with the government, and my driving force has always included promoting Wikipedia as a counterweight to fake news and a force for unbiased and well-referenced knowledge. Governments have shady operations in ALL countries (thanks to the user who mentioned France and an article that was forcibly deleted, the same thing almost happened in Greece). I don't see why Mardetanha should miss an opportunity for outreach at invitation from state-related authorities: the gains for the public at large are much greater than the potential risks. ANYONE of us is at risk in that context, regardless of his state of residence: let's not forget the plight of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, both from countries with a "clean" track record. It would be grossly hypocritical to have him removed on grounds of "working with" the Iranian government. As for access to sensitive data: his decade-long track record as a steward is proof enough that he knows how to handle the situations that he has encountered.--Saintfevrier (talk) 07:34, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove - I read all the above comments. I am an admin on fawiki and I have concerns similar to Amir and others. Because while Mardetanha's involvement with the Iranian government has raised, repression in Iran has gotten worse and worse. You may say we trust Mardetanha and he has a good record, ok, BUT the problem is not trusting him, but trusting Iran's situation.
Unfortunately my country is in cold war with the USA, and this has led to more suppression. Two months ago we saw street demonstrations, the next day the internet went off for a whole week. All news agencies, social media, messengers and even search engines were inaccessible! When internet came back after a week, not only 1500 people were killed by the government, but much more were arrested, including many journalists and students!
Or last week, a student was called to her university's guard and she got lost then. after a few days she announced her family that she has been moved to the prison!
Notice that when they arrest journalists and students, they take all their electronic devices and request people to give their passwords. Then they review their chats, social media and etc.
In this situation, one who is careless and shows his face on governmental TV, or holds a session in governmental "office for media studies and planning", for having sensitive access, endangers all wikipedians. and such carelessness can't be ignored.--Taranet (talk) 13:51, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Neutral Neutral -- Wagino 20100516 (talk) 18:38, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --Geonuch (talk) 12:52, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Neutral Neutral I read all comments above. But I still cannot choose anything now. --Garam talk 22:29, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep As a fawiki regular, I have known the real-world identity of User:Mardetanha since 2010. It really takes no efforts to know their real identity, so nothing has changed recently. As for the Iranian government, granted, that is far from perfect, but I see a lot of exaggerations here. For example, consider this TV appearance. I watched the whole interview and it was benign. I can't believe that some people want to sanction users for appearing on television. As for the Ministry session and the hype put forward by Justice for Iran, I simply translate my initial reaction to this debacle on the fawiki Village Pump, "I read the original report and its translation, and found it weak and baseless. I also listened to the recorded audio of the session. (130 minutes!) Sure, Persian Wikipedia is biased, but not towards the claimed side. The history of article Yezid I from June until September 2019 proves my point." Finally, some points should also be known regarding this issue: User:Ladsgroup was the person who gave an interview to Deutsche Welle Persian and somehow "helped" in circulating this baseless media hype regarding fawiki. I was the person who contacted the WMF and asked them to make an announcement for the fawiki community. I also contacted the OTRS administrators and informed them about this issue. User:Mardetanha and the Iranian Wikimedians User Group have fixed some of their past mistakes (such as removing the word "official" from their Twitter account) and I am happy with these fixes now. 4nn1l2 (talk) 06:25, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I know him for 12 yrs now from wiki and 10 yrs in person. He is a great asset to this movement, it would be sad to have his flag removed only bc his bad goverment. I think he can handle well his situation just like he did within the past decade.--OrsolyaVirág (talk) 09:11, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Cautious Keep Keep. I have read the article which Amir provided in detail, and I understand his concerns. His concerns cannot be dismissed as invalid, and should be taken into consideration. Looking at the article which Amir posted above, there seems to be POV issues in the Persian articles. The editor is concerned that there may be a connection between Persian Wikipedia and the Iranian government, and that Persian Wikipedia is a tool used by the Iranian government to promote their views. There is no substantial evidence for that. Another issue raised in the article is public events which were held by Persian Wikipedia volunteers over the years. An event titled "A professional meeting on the application of Wikipedia tactics in communications", which was held in September 2018, seems to be the main factor which escalated the issue further. Mardetanha was present at the event. Many issues were brought into consideration during the interview. According to the article, one of them is how to protect the personal pages of officials from coordinated “attacks and campaigns” by “the troublemakers”. Mardetanha offered a solution to this, which is protecting the articles. It was written as "lock the pages" in the article. When I read this part, I was a bit shocked by how the editor represented and described Wikipedia. There seems to be misrepresentation in the article, which led the editor to believe that government officials "enjoy full impunity and protection from the system". I believe that Mardetanha had Wikipedia's interests in mind when he offered that suggestion. From what I heard, this interview was conducted in Persian. The editor might have translated Mardetanha's words incorrectly, thus causing this confusion and controversy. I believe everyone knows that Wikipedia is a community, and anyone (including anonymous editors) can edit it. Persian Wikipedia is not made up of a few administrators and editors. Anyone can edit the articles. With that being said, I think the POV of the articles should be investigated thoroughly to prevent future conflicts. There are many things to consider here, like what Rschen7754 said above. Are the concerns relevant to Mardetanha's expertise as a steward? Looking at the discussion above, most of the oppose rationales revolve around Mardetanha's relations with the Iranian government. How will Mardetanha's work as a steward be affected? Will the Iranian government coerce Mardetanha to release private information? We are seeing a lot of hypotheses here, and votes are cast according to assumptions. There is no sign of government interference throughout Mardetanha's term as a steward. I have discussed the issue with Amir and Mardetanha before making a judgement. When I first saw Amir's vote, I have to admit that I was shocked and perplexed, and had qualms about supporting Mardetanha. That's why I retracted my vote. I have been following this discussion for several days. After much consideration, I have decided to support Mardetanha. He has been transparent throughout the entire process, and I believe that he will continue to serve well as a steward. Like Ajraddatz and Ankry, I have trust in Mardetanha. Jianhui67 talkcontribs 17:33, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
    troublemakers sounds like a loose translation of vandals; in which case his answer is completely justified. –MJLTalk 19:07, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep, mostly per Jianhui67. Mardetanha has served the community as a steward for quite some time, and has not given any indication that he wouldn't act with Wikimedians' best interest in mind. Wikimedia has had stewards and functionaries from hostile countries in the past and even now, I think losing someone as a steward that has fully worked towards the same goal that we all are (free and open knowledge for all) would be a true loss. There hasn't been an issue with Mardetanha in the past, and if he's confident that it's not an issue, I see no reason not to assume good faith and take him at his word for it. OhKayeSierra (talk) 04:29, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep. (I would feel terrible if my trustworthiness would be called into question because of the government of my country.) - Xbspiro (talk) 02:57, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep.--Jusjih (talk) 20:39, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove. I am concern about data protection like Amir and other said. Poya-P (talk) 00:07, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep. Have reviewed the concerns expressed re. Iranian state access to data (a matter clearly best left to WMF legal) and re. supervoting (explained above that the group's closure message really needed to be written in the local language). This is a hard-working steward who deserves reconfirmation; concerns raised do not convince. --AGK ■ 10:58, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep with same caveats as expressed by Jianhui67. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 11:51, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep per all of the above. One of the most active users in general, and a hard-working steward (per AGK). -- Несмир Кудилович (разговор) 14:09, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep My primary interest in the meta-side of Wikipedia is the intersection of IRL politics and the projects. I say this as an active politician myself.
    Look, I want to make clear how bad it would be if Mardetanha was secretly working with the Iranian government to further their own ends. However, that is absolutely no more likely to occur in Iran than it is in any other country. I know that to my very core to be true. It's just everyone tries to do this, and this particular nation-state is not uniquely equipped to extract information from a Wikimedia volunteer.
    I mean, what is exactly preventing a Steward from working with the CIA to provide info on Mardetanha himself for "national security" reasons?[1][2] At the very least, we know at least one enwiki admin has worked with journalists to leak private information...[3] and presumably no coercion was involved there.
    In my experience in Connecticut, the number one tactic used by politicians to get favorable coverage on Wikipedia is to just get a low-level staffer to edit the page. Those calculations do not change just because you have an oppressive regime; it's easier and cost-effective to just make the edit without needless risk.[4]
    There's more that I could potentially say,[5] but I ultimately want it clear that threats of torture and retaliation are not uncommon tactics within Iranian society today. The decision to put himself at risk resides with Mardetanha alone, and I am confident he would ensure the security of all accessible data to prevent it from being used for maligned purposes.
    Regards, –MJLTalk 19:07, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove or Keep with caveats. I like Mardetanha, he is always helpful and a nice guy but concerns raised by Amir and Taranet are valid. Iranian regime is ruthless and infamous for disregarding of human rights. In this case security concerns should be taken seriously. (PS) I am also an admin on fawiki. --Gnosis (talk) 20:15, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove My username shows my tendency. As you might be aware already, Atheism is not recognized by the Iranian government. Embracing any opinion other than Islam by a Moslem-born is considered Apostasy (Irtedad) and punishable by death. What other users mentioned above is definitely my concern more than anyone else. I have been contributing on Wikipedia for more than 10 years and I also know how Meta works. When the banner of stewards election appeared on top of Persian Wikipedia pages, it made me come and have a look at this page because I have a real concern today.

I do understand the viewpoint of those users who don't want to judge Mardetanha only based on the government of his country. But I would like to draw your attention to the actual circumstances here. The truth is, Iranian wikipedians always edit pages in the fear of their identity or IP being exposed to authorities and being impeached for their religious/political choices or opinions.

At the time the government gets sensitive on Wikipedia, they will have different methods to find the Wikipedians' personal details as they have done it before with some other websites. For instince [1], [2], [3], [4]

The issue with Mardetanha is that he has recently exposed himself more than usual. He has been in media and had contribution with governmental organisations as he admitted in 22:00, 26:15, 27:20 and 67:50 of this session. (Also listen to 42:15.)

Therefore, Wikipedians who live in Iran will have concerns that whenever the government wants to follow an issue on Wikipedia, the government will ask Mardetanha to do that for them at the first place. The Iranian community think that Mardetanha is the responsible person and trustee of Persian Wikipedia and it could clearly be seen in the interviews and news on the government's websites. It is clear that the people and the government do not have a correct understanding of how to contribute to Wikipedia, they think there is a senior or director on Persian Wikipedia and that person is Mardetanha. As he is introduced as "senior admin of persian wikipedia" here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. (The Persian word for manager and admin is the same)

The reason that other users and I have given "remove" to Mardetanha is not personal at all, we believe that he cannot protect himself and Wikipedians against the government.

And also if the government has had any issues with any articles and they want to change the content of articles, they know where to go and who to get help them with that issue, unfortunately this person has too many sensitive accesses.

We feel unsafe since it is so much easier for the government to find us or access our private information, especially with regards to the fact that stewards have access to sensitive information of users and they can do sensitive actions such checkuser wiki or giving themselves access to different things in case they are forced to provide that information.

It should be mentioned that the fact that we feel unsafe does not mean that there must not be any stewards living in Iran, but this is really sensitive at this stage and the government has become more sensitive compared to the past, therefore we cannot feel safe especially when Mardentanha is known widely and is a steward and has access to sensitive information. Atheist (talk) 05:18, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

* Neutral Neutral --Poti Berik (talk) 08:28, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

  • Remove Remove per Amir and Taranet. --Poti Berik (talk) 08:34, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I do not understand this year's run the remove Mardetanha's rights. Nothing has changed in political situation in last year, BTW disclosing his citizenship is a violation of secrecy with have to keep, never ever anyone had any doubt about his ability to keep the promise to protect the movement. This is a strong keep masti <talk> 19:05, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove My concern is about governmental abuse in Iran. Users who voted for Mardetanha need to know they are compromising our security. Ariobarzan (talk) 22:12, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • do you have any evidence regarding Mardethanha? or is Your comment just a general statement? masti <talk> 19:21, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
There is evidence that the Iranian governemnt knows who Mardetanha is, and evidence for governmental abuse in Iran. Vermont (talk) 19:42, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
The same can be said of various other countries, first and foremost the USA. Nemo 20:27, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Just two days ago environmentalist Niloufar Bayani Exposed 1,200 hours of torture, sexual threats, humiliation etc by her Interrogators. We are not dealing here with a rational and normal government. Please understand the valid concerns about security risk here! --Gnosis (talk) 06:38, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, it's terrible. I assume you know about w:en:Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse etc. as well. As an Italian, for instance, I'm much more likely to be kidnapped in my own country and tortured by the USA. It's quite unlikely Iran would. Nemo 09:46, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove I'm not able to fairly judge this issue. But I'm quite sure, that if in doubt, we should protect our users from potential troubles in real life. Is this fair to our steward? No, not really. So I have to apologise to Mardetanha, but still vote for removal. --Mirer (talk) 04:27, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Neutral Neutral per concerns above --DannyS712 (talk) 04:33, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep - Yes, I have read the concerns mentioned above and have followed the links given, I also consider the concerns understandable. Ultimately, however, I do not see that Mardetanha has violated any of the community guidelines, nor that fears about the potential threat to fellow Wikipedians from Mardetanha's public presence in Iran currently have a real background. Of course, there have been cases where state authorities have successfully exerted pressure on Wikipedia volunteers with extended user rights (the case in French Wikipedia from 2013 with the massive pressure by the French domestic intelligence DCRI/DGSI has already been mentioned above as an example), but something like that will usually quickly be known and corrected by the community. Finally, all log files regarding Mardetanha's actions as steward are accessible to the fellow stewards; I'd expect a quick reaction if his user access turned out to be compromised. Regards --Rax (talk) 22:45, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Taivo (talk) 09:03, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep While I understand other users' concerns; in future, Mardetanha's wrongdoings for the Iranian state on Wikimedia projects can be immediately noticed by other stewards and the community. As a result of this situation, necessary intervention will also performed. He may have highlighted Wikipedian identity in his real-life. Who can say that there will be no pressure in the future in our countries? In this case, will we remove the roles of other stewards? Last, he's trying to use his steward role. For these reasons, I am in favor of keeping his roles because I haven't seen his abuses too much. --Uğurkenttalk 12:41, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
    User:Rax and User:Uğurkent. As I said before there are several ways that a steward account can be compromised and abused without any oversight. For obvious reasons, I'm not going into its details but I know them as a CU in fawiki. And for governemnts knowing people. It's a spectrum, you can't treat a whole government as a monolith, the question is "how much you're known to the government?" and when you give an interview in staet TV, the answer is "too much" because after a threshold, a wrong person might notice they can extort power on people. Amir (talk) 21:35, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
    @Amir - as I said: I've read these concerns you mentioned above and I took them very seriously. But: Like you on fa:wiki, I'm a CU on de:wiki - and do know nothing about those "details" - and I don't want to know about in detail at all. I'm sure, there'll be ways for technically skilled members of any intelligance agency to "hack" accounts, but are you really able to provide me (by mail) with at least some information (without going into technical details), how it may be possible to perform a steward-action without leaving a fingerprint in the logfiles - so that those actions can't be examined by other stewards? The last weekend, I've been talking to a couple of technically skilled members of de:community about your statement "that a steward account can be compromised and abused without any oversight" (which meens in my understanding: a steward-action without any logfile-entry). Noone (sic!) was able to follow and confirm these concerns. --Rax (talk) 00:47, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
    Just sent them to you Amir (talk) 01:04, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
    reached me - I'll read and answer and take it in consideration. --Rax (talk) 01:14, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
    dicussed via Email, (my) conclusion: it's about risk - and I'll stay by my vote: I'm voting about confirming a long time serving steward, where there ist no evidence that he abused his rights nor that his account is compromised. It generally would be a decision of the foundation, whether someone may be a steward who lives in a country with an oppressive regime. --Rax (talk) 00:11, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
As I said, even if Mardetanha's account is abused, his actions will be recorded systematically. Then the necessary action is taken. The identity of some stewards remains public in user pages. But they live in a more democratic country than Iran. Therefore, nobody expresses an opinion about removing their authorization. I also think of Iran as the oppressive government, but I don't act on the assumptions about Mardetanha here. I don't think there is enough evidence for his duty to be removed. In short, i amn't fully agree with the worries about Mardetanha for now. --Uğurkenttalk 10:04, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --Zyephyrus (talk) 19:47, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Always been a fair steward. The RFC-closed is wrong but Mardetanha merely seems to be the messenger. Plenty of arguments regarding their identity being know to the government of Iran apply to plenty of users from plenty of countries, including the USA. Natuur12 (talk) 12:48, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
Human rights violations in Iran are far more extended and not comparable to the USA!! They are an integral part of the daily life of Iranians.
I was wandering Meta when I came across the dreadful case of en:Bassel Khartabil, open source software developer and wikipedian who was executed in Syria in 2015. Syria and Iran are alike in many aspects and they share their suppression strategies with each other. What happened in Syria can very well be the case for Iranian Wikipedians. --Taranet (talk) 23:47, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
"Not comparable" maybe, "more extended" I doubt. First of all, USA agencies violate human rights of all people in the world, so it would pretty hard for Iran to do worse even if they targeted 100 % of the population. Second, by most measures on the Human Rights Watch report 2019, USA has worse figures than Iran, see for instance the figure of 6 million people under criminal sentencing (w:United States incarceration rate) and documented law enforcement abuses against several thousand inhabiants vs. "only" 5000 estimated cases of abuses in Iran. Nemo 08:37, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep -jkb- 00:15, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I know Mardetanha for several years. He always obeys wikipedia's policies. It is strange that some of users such as user:1997kB and user:Eatcha voted against him because thay do not trust in Iran's government. If such approach becomes a rule then all of the Turkish and Arab wikipedians who live in their own countries may encounter with a discrimination and that finaly lead to a systematic bias!--Sa.vakilian (talk) 06:25, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Mardetanha is a unique steward who speaks Turkish, Azerbaijani, Persian and English fluently. Thus he is very helpful in resolving problems arising in relevant wikis and projects. Also he has long-term experience as a steward, so his knowledge should be used to move forward Wikimedia movement.--Wertuose (talk) 06:28, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Mardetanha is a very experienced steward. I see no reason to not allowing him to continue his work as a steward. --Basak (talk) 08:09, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep - Multilingual, participates in global Wikimedia movement events - shares his perspectives with wider community in different languages AbhiSuryawanshi (talk) 09:47, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep as fawiki admin and arbcom member who has been working with Mardetanha for long time vouch for his trustworthiness and he has been serving fawiki and broader community wellBehzad39 (talk) 09:57, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Support without reservations. Mardetanha's history of contributions in various leadership roles bears testimony to his value to our project. He has been a steward before, and I don't see why he shouldn't be one again. — Nearly Headless Nick {C} 10:07, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep OMG, auto-racist diaspora appeared again after 11 years of Mardetanha being a steward! And the only acusation against him is realted to the fact that he is a part of his own society. I would really like to know if he abused his permissions for more than a decade of being a steward and if so, please give us the facts. Otherwise, please shut up! --Millosh (talk) 10:13, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove due to concerns raised by Amir and others. GFJ (talk) 14:29, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove Per Amir and others. EDIT: Mardetanha just mailed me because I voted against him, telling me to think about it and "judge by conscience and professional ethics" (Google translate) amongst other stuff (none of it was hostile, it wasn't a rude message or anything, just to be clear). Now I'm even less comfortable with someone like that having this kind of authority. --HistoryofIran (talk) 17:29, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep, very active user, of course I support. --Visem (talk) 19:56, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove In one of the most serious cases I've ever come across in all projects, User:پژگچ was indefinitely blocked on 20 January 2018 by him in Persian Wikipedia for making edits related to corruption in Iran. He accused the user to be a sock, obviously without any CheckUser or whatsoever. They made an unblock request on the same day, but based on an unwritten rule in fawiki no other admin bothered to interfere. It was (finally) made clear on 4 September 2018 that the user was not a sock, yet it took another half a year that Mardetenha unblocked them commenting: "از نظر من اشتباه کردم و حقیقا حق شما زایل شد، امیدوارم بنده را ببخشید و دوران خوبی در ویکی‌پدیا داشته باشید. با تشکر" Translation: "I think I was wrong and your rights were seriously infringed upon, hopefully you forgive me and have a nice time in Wikipedia. Thanks." Needless to mention پژگچ had long retired by then. MS 会話 20:34, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Passionate and dedicated user that has achieved great things so far as steward. إيان (talk) 22:19, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Luke081515 22:43, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Yamaha5 (talk) 23:44, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove I'm active in Persian Wikipedia and write articles about political issues. After the recent protests in Iran, they oppressed us even more. More arrests, more disappearances, more deaths. I'm scared that I might be the next one when someone like him has access to identifiable data about me. It's not about trusting him, it's about not trusting our government. Nika2020 (talk) 23:55, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I think Mardetanha is experienced/fair enough to be kept -- to help wiki. Ali Ahwazi (talk) 07:41, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Mohsen has been active for over 15 years and is known as a trusted person in all wikis. As one of the active admins of fawiki and the main member of the Iranian Wikimedians User Group, I support the process of organizing fawiki events and user group activities in recent years. I think we have helped Wikipedia a lot with these online and offline events. Also, our interviews had a great impact on people's awareness of Wikipedia. All the reasons for our connection to the government are about Wikipedia and Journalism event that we had in the Bureau of media studies and planning of the Ministry culture of Iran. They invited some journalists from famous Iranian digital media such as Isna, Irna, AsrIran, Mehrnews and Aftab news agency. We just talked about Wikipedia, reliable sources and the role of media in the encyclopedia. Videos and sounds of the event are published and there are no hidden intentions from us or Mohsen. The news and videos of that meeting got a lot of attention and views and I think it helped the knowledge of people about Wikipedia. Report that published about that meeting on the OpenDemocracy website and a few other media was mostly about a writer's illusion and his misinterpretation of Wikipedia and how it works. The article said if you register an NGO, you are with the government!! Register an NGO or request an office for Wikipedians is not mean that we work with the government. After four years, we still don't have an NGO or the office. The person who invited us to that meeting also fired from the Ministry culture of Iran. Also, using of senior manager title is a media misunderstanding of admin access in Wikipedia. we don't write reports for them. We had always working with full transparency and you can check our activity reports (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). In Iran, many media, universities, institutions, and services are government-owned. It is a mistake to link us to the government for any event or activity. I understand Amir's concerns, but I still trust Mohsen after ten years. Also, I don't think this access will cause any safety problem for him or other users. ARASH PT  talk  08:14, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep per AGK and Millosh, as an arbcom member of farsi wikipedia, I have been working with him for long time and I sure he had and will have best interest of wmf projects in his work.  ¤ KOLI talk 09:32, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep perusing all comments and regarding Amir's innablity to convince user Rax. It seams there is sufficient safegaurds to detetect any wrongdoing or coerced abuse of power in cases of government intrusion.
In the other hand, any verdict based on unfoundaded accusations just intensify Conspiracy theories surrrunding wikipedia and it surrrely can have negative impacts for outreach attempts. I can imagine Mardetanha would face difficulty explaining if being a wikipedian doesnt involve breaking the law, why his residence in Iran costed him loss of his status? Regarding the fact that no single evidence of breach of conduct are presented here. Rajabi.abolghasem (talk) 08:25, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--Baskervill (talk) 09:39, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I do not understand why all these controversies which are based on speculation and not a single well founded or logically strong evidence. Focus on more productive things because this is not getting anybody anywhere. --Abdeaitali (talk) 09:40, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove I'm Mostafa Azizi. I was in the Islamic Republic's prison for fifteen months, and I'm sure everyone living inside Iran is not immune to the sting of government. The charges were based on my personal Facebook and my weblog writings. Mardetanha can not protect us or himself from the government. None of us can. Mostafazizi (talk) 13:10, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Hello everybody, as an admin on the Persian Wikipedia and one who is contributing for over 11 years, I believe Mohsen is the most active, communicative and helper person which is contributing in the Persian Wikipedia (At least Persian because I'm not active in the other ones). I can imagine his capacities and abilities can improve the Wiki's atmosphere. I have ultimate trust in him. --✍ SMorteza (talk) 16:00, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove I am an independent user of Wikipedia and I have been contributing to Wikipedia for a while, during this period, I have been under harassment and persecution of some users affiliated with the Iranian government. For this reason, in order having access to the private information of someone being in Iran, I am concerned that accessing to private information would cause the securities of users compromised under the pressure of the Iranian government. Especially at this moment, threats and political-security harassment by the Iranian government has increased significantly. BlUeRiVeR20 (talk) 17:36, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep per Jianhui67.As an active user in Persian and English, I read the issue mentioned by Amir, there is no serious evidence for government interference throughout Mardetanha's term as a steward and everything is normal with Mardetanha as Arash PT explained. His truthful efforts make me happy vote to keep.Saff V. (talk) 17:50, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove Iranian regime that has been condemned about sixty times by the UN Security Council for its blatant violations of human rights, and for harassment of people including journalists and writers, a regime for whom people’s lives worth nothing, an example of this was the massacre of November protesters, this regime would definitely coerce a steward based in Iran for editor’s confidential information. How can we feel safe and comfortable with this? Alex-h (talk) 23:48, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove There is a small, but nonetheless real possibility that one day Mardetanha will be visited by the Iranian authorities seeking private information. No one, Mardetanha included, can predict whether he will cooperate or not. If he does cooperate then any security measures will be trivially easy to circumvent. Arguing that nothing has gone wrong before doesn't cut it for me in light of the serious consequences that will follow if anything does go wrong. Unless someone can confirm that being a steward does not give him access to anything that could be used to identify users its just an unacceptable risk. --RaiderAspect (talk) 05:06, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I knew this user as the one of the best of Fa.wiki who is fiable as Steward certainly. I am active in fr & fa.DRIS92 (talk) 07:05, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep.Abbas 09:44, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep. مهرنگار (talk) 22:00, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --Novak Watchmen (talk) 22:21, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Although I had conflicts with Mardetanha in Fa wiki and Commons, I find him a very suitable candidate for this position. Beside's the duties he technically does as an Steward, he has done a great deal to raise awareness in Iran with regards to the Wikimedia projects. I think the users are unanimously in agreement that he did well to improve the project using his rights. Likewise I know Ladsgroup, commenting here under 'Amir' The allegations 'Amir' employs here will bring us nothing but discrimination. In other words, should WMF manage to decide based on the poor allegations thrown here, i.e. deciding largely based on the geographical situations of the applicants, that would be a highly discriminated approach. Simply saying you can't have this rights only because you live in Iran is not in accordance with what the community follows. Just imagine this dubious report is using "Wikipedia’s Senior Managers" referring to the wiki admins!
As Camouflaged Mirage correctly pointed, this board is not a suitable place for digging into these allegations. Personally, I prefer to look at the applicant's history rather than these un-proved allegations. --Mhhossein talk 07:03, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
As It's mentioned above, The Persian word for manager and admin is the same. Mardetanha is surprisingly introduced as Senior Manager of fa.wiki everywhere. I provided the links; here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
Nika2020 (talk) 01:14, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I've read through this entire thread, and while I do see where the threat of authorities being able to exploit the elevated access a steward has, this threat is not unique to Mardetanha's country of residence. Additionally, collaborating with a government agency on outreach activities is not akin to being an agent for the government. I believe that having this discussion on this or any other public forum actually poses a greater threat . --Fjmustak (talk) 13:39, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep KeepRab.mj79 (talk) 20:34, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I accidentally met Mardetanha in an event in that he was trying to introduce Fawiki and to encourage people to join it for more contributions. Mardetanha is a neutral person and so strict about rules and regulations. He is making a great effort to develop. Elajan (talk) 21:45, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove I feel the same threat as described in some of the above. --N.Iran.S (talk) 23:55, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep KeepEihel (talk) 00:18, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I agree with AGK, masti and Millosh. Trijnsteltalk 00:43, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove He is my friend. I saw myself in the dungeon and in the torture chamber of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and didn't even call for my enemies, but at least I noticed the torturers' keen interest in the contents of electrical equipment such as mobile phones and laptops and so on. Thousands of people have been killed, jailed or sentenced to death in recent months by the Islamic State in Iran. As Amir said, the Iranian government's serious effort to use Wikipedia is quite clear. A number of Persian Wikipedia sysops have a pattern of behavior and a clear relationship with the government (or serve its interests) and are aware of his identity and characteristics and even have a personal relationship with him (Behzad39, Arash.pt, Fatemi). There is no special distinction between the worldview of the Shiite mullahs and the ISIS Salafists.
I think this access doesn't matter when it threatens the security and health of one of the most committed users.AnuJuno (talk) 04:25, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Revenge vote?! You blocked 3 times in the last month just for personal attacks and very bad insults. Now you relates the government with the administrators who blocked you. nice move ... :) ARASH PT  talk  12:46, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Mehranimanesh (talk) 07:07, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --Toghrul Rahimli (talk) 07:39, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --Leila1717 (talk) 07:46, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--Sortilegus (talk) 09:24, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep -- I think his known identity (the very feature other uses may find dangerous) has helped the Wikipedia Community in Iran and has had a helpful role in mediating the situation, taming government's hostile approach towards Wikipedia and making the general atmosphere for Wikipedians' activity more convenient. Mardetanha's constructive efforts for Wikipedia are not deniable. Pirhayati (talk) 09:26, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep He is realy devoted for developing wmf by travelling.Mahdi Mousavi (talk) 10:12, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep per Millosh. Fatemi 11:22, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove Remove As a former Persian Wikipedia admin, my contribute in Wikipedia and sister projects ended 5 years ago, and I suffered tremendous psychological stress. Why? Because he wanted to show who's the boss there, and that no one would be able to change his supervote inside that wiki. I came to this page by accident because I have not been contribute in any foundation project since then and am still involved with the psychological effects of those events. I could have been an effective user and administrator, but this demonstration of his power drove me to Asentra, Fluoxamine and Quentiax instead of Wikipedia articles. After years of being away, I continue to see similar names at the time (2016-17) using sensitive access to threaten the security of users there and no one can be prevented. I just wish there was nothing bad for users inside Iran, it's scary. Mahan (talk) 11:55, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
After 5 years you came here by accident?! really?! You lost your admin access for the abuse of power by fawiki abrcom and they blocked you for 6 months. No one from the community defended you and you weren't effective user or admin back then. ARASH PT  talk  12:35, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep I, as an old wikifa user, am more concerned about data protection and user information security while someones are trying to remove old experienced Wikimedians from wikifa! sen (talk) 12:11, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Per Arash.PT; a lot of groundless accusations here, not a single evidence.--Standardwhale (talk) 12:24, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep Since appearance on TV, regardless of being a state or private TV is not considered a crime, but why should it be regarded as a violation? Some arguments are shocking!--میرعلی 797 (talk) 12:15, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--لاله171 (talk) 12:29, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep--Sofia3878 (talk) 12:36, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Keep Keep --Schniggendiller (talk) 13:29, 28 February 2020 (UTC) I have confidence in him.
  • Remove Remove - Per Amir - MA Javadi (talk) 13:51, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I am seriously concerned by Mardetanha's actions. Concerns regarding a security of a steward (having the most sensible access among all volunteers) in Iran were already there during the nomination. The answer was that Mardetanha is perferctly anonymous and does not disclose his name. Now he disclosed his name to the Iranian government. I am feeling that this contract during the election is not respected anymore, and I am concerned by this — NickK (talk) 13:59, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Stewards/Confirm/2020/Mardetanha
  1. For those who aren't up-to-date on geopolitical politics, the United States considers Iran to be one of its number one adversaries especially within the emerging field of cyber warfare. If the CIA believed the accusations made in the Open Democracy article, then they most certainly would be interested in finding out more about a user such as Mardetanha. FISA would permit them to find out this information even without a court order depending on your interpretation of the law (mine being its unconstitutional regardless).
  2. I doubt they could become a Steward themselves considering many networks operated by the DoD are currently blocked from editing thanks to a certain unnamed LTA.
  3. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/12/pete-buttigieg-wikipedia-page-editor.html
  4. Wikipedia's free ability to edit approach makes it unique among media.
  5. I liked the azwiki RFC close for example, and I did see it lead to some decent improvements.