Adapted from Wikipedia by Jonathan Ned Katz, Director, OutHistory.org
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Text to come.
Stewards are elected from and by the global community of the Wikimedia Foundation's projects to manage user rights and fill requests on and from all Wikimedia wikis.
The bulk of steward activity is organized through the Requests for permissions page, where users of any Wikimedia wiki may request modification of any user access level, subject to the relevant policies, as described on that page. In particular, stewards generally do not grant rights on wikis that already have bureaucrats to handle such requests. Stewards also operate several other request pages, listed in the box at the right of this page.
In emergency situations, you can contact a steward directly using the stewards' IRC channel, #wikimedia-stewards (see also a web-based IRC client). Say !steward in this channel to notify stewards of an emergency.
For routine matters, please use the aforementioned request pages. To contact a steward directly, use that steward's talk page.
Stewards are empowered to grant or remove any of the various levels of user rights, including bot, administrator, bureaucrat, oversight, checkuser, and steward. Stewards also have full access to the MediaWiki interface on all Wikimedia wikis, including delete, block, and so forth (but checkuser and oversight require explicit assignment). This position was created to dissociate rights management from software development.
Stewards are subject to the steward policies. Further documentation may be found in the steward handbook.