Sunday, January 13, 2013

R.I.P. 26-Year-Old Reddit Co-Founder Aaron Swartz

Sad news in the online community today: Aaron Swartz, the 26-year-old Internet activist and co-founder of Reddit and Demand Progress, who did more before he turned 15 than we have with our entire lives, committed suicide in New York City last night, according to the MIT’s The Tech.

The accomplished Swartz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification at age 14, was one of the three co-owners of the popular social news site Reddit, and completed a fellowship at Harvard’s Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption. In 2010, he founded, a “campaign against the Internet censorship bills SOPA/PIPA.”

Swartz was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for allegedly mass downloading documents from the JSTOR online journal archive with the intent to distribute them. He subsequently moved to Brooklyn, where he worked for Avaaz Foundation, a nonprofit “global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.” Swartz appeared in court on Sept. 24, 2012 and pleaded not guilty.

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