Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz dies at 26


A co-founder of social news website Reddit and activist who fought to make online content free to the public has been found dead.

Aaron Swartz (26) took his own life in his Brooklyn apartment and was found yesterday, a spokeswoman for New York’s medical examiner has said.

Mr Swartz was a prodigy who as a young teenager helped create the web-feed system RSS, a format for delivering to users content from sites that change constantly, such as news pages and blogs.

He co-founded the news-sharing website Reddit, but left the company after it was acquired by Condé Nast.

Mr Swartz was a director of political action group Demand Progress, which campaigns against internet censorship.

He was arrested in 2011 in Boston and charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His federal trial on computer fraud charges was to begin next month. If convicted, he could have faced decades in prison and a fortune in fines.

“Aaron had an unbeatable combination of political insight, technical skill and intelligence about people and issues,” his friend Cory Doctorow wrote on his blog. – (AP, Reuters)