Leading figures pay tribute to Swartz on Twitter

Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Internet activist and programmer Aaron Swartz took his own life on January 11th.

His family believe the 26-year-old was driven to suicide after being charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from MIT in an attempt to make them freely available.

"Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy," his family said in a statement. "It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts US Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death."

As a teenager, Swartz helped to create RSS, a family of web feed formats used to gather updates from around the internet. He also co-founded the social news website Reddit.

Swartz, who suffered with depression, was founded by a friend in his New York apartment. A spokeswoman for New York’s medical examiner later confirmed to Associated Press news agency that Swartz hanged himself.

Leading figures have paid tribute to Swartz on Twitter, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who posted: "Aaron dead. World wanderers, we have lost a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down. Parents all, we have lost a child. Let us weep."

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