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Aaron Swartz, 26-year-old co-founder of Reddit has died. Swartz’s uncle, Michael Wolf, confirms that the Internet activist took his own life on Friday, Jan. 11.
“The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” Wolf confirmed in an e-mail to MIT Tech.
The brilliant young co-founder and coauthor of Reddit completed a fellowship at Harvard’s Ethic Center Lab on Institutional Corruption. He was also the co-founder of Demand Progress, a group which campaigns against Internet Censorship, CNN reports.
Following the news of his tragic death, a series of tributes have been posted on both Reddit and Boiling Point.
"My friend Aaron Swartz committed suicide yesterday, Jan 11. He was 26," writes Cory Doctrow, a close friend of Swartz. "I got woken up with the news about an hour ago. I'm still digesting it -- I suspect I'll be digesting it for a long time -- but I thought it was important to put something public up so that we could talk about it. Aaron was a public guy."
Despite his active involvement in creating a better Internet community, Swartz’s life wasn’t without legal troubles. He was indicted in 2011 for allegedly mass downloading documents from JSTOR. Swartz pleaded not guilty to the charges. Demand Progress’ executive director quickly came to Swart’s defense stating, “It’s like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library."
The investigation into his death is still ongoing.