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Apparent suicide by Reddit co-founder inspires many online tributes

Internet activist Aaron Swartz, pictured at a Wiki Meetup in Boston in 2009, has reportedly committed suicide.
Internet activist Aaron Swartz, pictured at a Wiki Meetup in Boston in 2009, has reportedly committed suicide. Flicker / Creative Commons

Aaron Swartz, a co-founder of Reddit and activist, who fought to make online content free to the public has been found dead.

A spokeswoman for New York's medical examiner says 26-year-old Aaron Swartz hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment and was found Friday.

Swartz was a prodigy who as a young teenager helped create RSS. He co-founded the social news website Reddit and directed the political action group Demand Progress that campaigns against Internet censorship.

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

Swartz pleaded not guilty. 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.

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