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Reddit co-founder and Internet activist Aaron Swartz commits suicide at 26

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posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 10:30 AM
Im sure many members of ATS also use the site Reddit. So it seems the 26-year-old hacker ,information activist and co-founder of the very popular social news and entertainment website Reddit (which was purchased by Condé Nast in late 2006) who faced charges for alleged role in making MIT academic journal articles public committed suicide in New York on Friday.

His death was confirmed by MIT's The Tech by both his uncle and his lawyer Saturday morning :

“The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” confirmed Swartz’ attorney, Elliot R. Peters of Kecker and Van Nest, in an email to The Tech.

Gawker says he was suffering from depression for some time :

Swartz had hinted at depression in the past. In a 2007 speech, he discussed his time at Reddit, including the first weeks after its purchase by Conde Nast:

"We all flew out to San Francisco and begun working at the offices of Wired News (we were purchased by Condé Nast, a big publishing company which owns Wired, along with many other magazines).

I was miserable. I couldn't stand San Francisco. I couldn't stand office life. I couldn't stand Wired. I took a long Christmas vacation. I got sick. I thought of suicide. I ran from the police. And when I got back on Monday morning, I was asked to resign."


The daily mail reports that :

In September 2012, Swartz was charged with 13 counts of felony hacking stemming from his July 2011 arrest and subsequent indictment by the Department of Justice for allegedly swiping MIT papers from the JSTOR online journal archive.

Sourc e

Swartz appeared in court on Sept. 24, 2012 and pleaded not guilty.

WIKI states that

In 2009, Swartz downloaded and publicly released approximately 20% of the PACER database of United States federal court documents managed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts

Its always tragic when at such a young age someone feels there is no option left other than to take their own life . The accomplished Swartz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification at age just 14. He also was a member of Harvard University Ethics Center Lab. Swartz was also the creator of the web application framework, and co-founded Demand Progress, a progressive advocacy group that organizes people via email and other media for "contacting Congress and other leaders, funding pressure tactics, and spreading the word" about targeted issues.

There doesn't seem to be many details at this stage so until more info comes to light we can only speculate as to what happened and why.

edit on 12-1-2013 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 10:36 AM
It is terrible that people take their own life.

Can you imagine how desperate they are to do it?

It's horrible

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 10:44 AM
No conspiracy here, just very sad news.
My thoughts are with his family.

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 10:45 AM
Well let's get this conspiracy rolling. Sometimes people are murdered and the msm reports it as a suicide. Any takers on that theory?

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 10:51 AM
reply to post by magma

Tired is the word I would use. You get tired and you just want it to end. You don't think it's a solution really, just some sort of release.

Depression is a real illness and for some people that cloud never lifts. They have my sympathy.

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 11:36 AM
reply to post by Severin

That's bull, just like that gun advocate died just 3-4 days ago

Aaron Swartz was on RT talking against US government and gaining momentum

expect to see more and more activists supposedly die under suicide

In the end they will start killing Big Timers like Alex Jones, George Noory of coast to coast and many others.

CIA can induce heart attacks too. They don't need bullets to kill you.

By the time people realize what's going on, it will be too late,
edit on 12-1-2013 by JewAgainstZionism because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 11:42 AM
Suicide, If you believe in God you wouldn't do that as the Bible says God doesnt want it that way. So he believes in nothing or he is anti Christian.

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by jemoeder

Stay on topic, thank you.

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 12:24 PM
so sad.

if he could only have made it through a few more days, maybe a week, he might have seen he could have gotten passed the humiliation of the resignation and presumably arrest


posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by JewAgainstZionism

Yeah ,OK gotcha... everything's a conspiracy blah blah blah.

For once can we just maybe accept that this guy was suffering from a deep and dark depression that got the better of him. It happens ya know. I have very personal experience of this and when it gets its claws into you, you've got a tremendous fight on your hands.

I know its just so hard not to jump feet first into a scintillating conspiracy theory, but in the grand scheme of (conspiracy) things, this guy was small fry. I agree that certain people have definitely been 'suicided' in the past, but with this case I just don't see it.

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 03:26 PM
I wonder what he was taking for his depression? Nothing like a good anti-depressant to kick you right off the ledge to suicide.

I spent my entire youth and young adulthood mildly depressed but never considered suicide - ever. Simply not the way I'm wired. After suffering harassment at the hands of a nasty employer, I took my doctor's advice (never again though) and tried four different SSRIs before I simply couldn't take the constant push I felt inside me to end it all.

What do you want to bet he was on one of those meds? Thinking about it though, isn't suicide by hanging a marker of mood elevators? I wonder.
edit on 12/1/2013 by CosmicEgg because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 03:31 PM
He was going to get 15 or 20 years in prison, that is harder for a rich person to handle..

Could you imagine going from lambo's and mansions to big bubba in a 5x5 cell??

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 03:35 PM
A hacktivist commits suicide, definitely possible considering the stress one would go through putting in all that effort to make a change only to realize that in the end, your efforts are in vain. I'm sure many activists and people that have dedicated their lives to shaping a better world have been in similar situations.

gangdumstyle does raise a valid point to support the above claim.

The potential for murder should always be considered in these cases though, everybody on this site should be well aware that main stream media has reported suicides that were murders whether aware or unaware. Considering the danger he posed, it's entirely possible.

The key is often in the their most recent accomplishment and 'current' projects and ideas that were being worked on at time of death. I could look for these details myself but I'll be honest I don't see much of a point, whether suicide or murder (not like we can do much if it is) the world lost someone good for it... I'm mainly posting because I don't like when people rule out murder instantaneously or when people call conspiracy without evidence, both should be considered.
edit on 12-1-2013 by 8thful because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-1-2013 by 8thful because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 03:53 PM
reply to post by 8thful

There is no reason for them to murder him when they had him by the balls, going to be locked up for a long time..

Having him murdered in prison would be way easier if that is what they wanted.

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 04:07 PM
reply to post by gangdumstyle

As far as I know, he did not receive his sentence, 'yet'. I'm in agreement with you that it would make more sense to kill him in prison if one were to kill him but he was not heading to prison yet. It's more than likely he committed suicide but I'm still not dead-set on it since the sentence was not received yet. I don't know much about law but if he found some way to avoid jail time, there could be a reason to kill him but I admit that is reaching at best and even IF he found a way to avoid it which is unlikely, his 'murder' wouldn't be carried out immediately.

Perhaps I just don't want to accept that someone so intelligent and dedicated to the cause is gone by his own means of surrender.
edit on 12-1-2013 by 8thful because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-1-2013 by 8thful because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 04:41 PM
Police had arrested Swartz in July 2011. He was accused of stealing 4 million documents from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jstor,

Just read this :

News of Swartz's suicide came only days after Jstor announced this week that it would make "more than 4.5 million articles" publicly available for free.

posted on Jan, 13 2013 @ 02:30 PM
reply to post by PhoenixOD

So you are saying the material that was hacked free is now available
for free and Aaron was not told of the change of the situation that might
have gone forth.

posted on Jan, 13 2013 @ 02:39 PM
Schwartz was right to steal those docs, in my opinion. It's just sick the way we hold back our own development as a species by withholding information until we can maximize our financial gain from it. Can we say "soul-rotting GREED", children? That's why we're so screwed up. Greed. He was doing what needed and needs to be done across the board.

He was a hero in no uncertain terms. An absolute credit to mankind.

posted on Jan, 13 2013 @ 02:54 PM

Originally posted by TeslaandLyne
reply to post by PhoenixOD

So you are saying the material that was hacked free is now available
for free and Aaron was not told of the change of the situation that might
have gone forth.

Well it seems that Jstor publicly announced they would make a huge amount of the documents he hacked available for free just days before he committed suicide.

Think about this : Maybe he had hacked info they didnt want released and maybe his death means that he cant now say that any of the documents Jstor will release have been changed since he hacked them.

posted on Jan, 13 2013 @ 03:05 PM
I'm really curious how someone goes about stealing from JSTOR. I use it all the time for school. I guess he just published the articles/documents without their consent?

Regardless, RIP. Such a sad end to a young life.

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