All of us at FMC were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of programmer, writer, and activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide on Friday. Swartz was facing prosecution for an incident where he used MIT servers to download a large volume of articles from JSTOR’s database of academic journals; he had also written extensively about his long struggle with depression.
Swartz’s contributions to online culture were numerous and wide-ranging. He was a child prodigy who co-developed RSS and went on to cofound the popular site Reddit. As an activist, Swartz is best known for co-founding Demand Progress and battling against SOPA-PIPA, but his activities extended beyond internet openness to a range of social and economic inequality issues.
FMC extends our condolences to Swartz’s friends, family and colleagues worldwide.