New Delhi: Co-founder of the social news website Reddit and activist who fought to make online content free to the public has been found dead, authorities have confirmed, prompting an outpouring of grief from prominent voices on the intersection of free speech and the Web.
Aaron Swartz, 26, hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment weeks before he was to go on trial on accusations that he stole millions of journal articles from an electronic archive in an attempt to make them freely available.
He was pronounced dead on Friday evening at his home in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for New York’s chief medical examiner.
Swartz was a prodigy who as a young teenager helped create RSS, a family of Web feed formats used to gather updates from blogs, news headlines, audio and video for users.
He later co-founded Reddit, which ended up being sold to Conde Nast, as well as the political action group Demand Progress, which campaigns against Internet censorship.
Our farewell to Aaron Swartz, an extraordinary hacker and activist.
Aaron Swartz's suicide is an alarm on just how dysfunctional our way of dealing with knowledge is. Who does information kept hidden help?
Deeply saddened by the loss of Aaron Swartz. I was privileged to work w/him on PIPA/SOPA. His advocacy for the greater good will be missed.
"Life isn’t a high school exam; you don’t have to solve your problems on your own." ~Aaron Swartz
Didn't know much about Aaron Swartz before today. Now I'm really, really goddamn angry.
Image Courtesy Wikipedia