The death of Reddit co-founder and Internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz, who is reported to have committed suicide in New York on Friday, has prompted a flood of tributes on Twitter.
Given Swartz was a committed and prominent advocate for online freedom, it was fitting that Tim Berners-Lee, British computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, was among those to honour him.
According to the Guardian, Berners-Lee was one of many friends, colleagues and supporters who took to social media to pay their respects. “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,” Berners-Lee wrote.
“I just woke up to find out that my old friend Aaron Swartz committed suicide. If you are depressed/hopeless, please talk to your friends,” Cory Doctorow, author and blogger, wrote, while Larry Lessig, professor and founder of Creative Commons added, “There is no way to express this sadness."
“This is so unbelievably sad and horrible on so many levels - RIP @aaronsw,” Glenn Greenwald, Guardian blogger and columnist added. "The 26-yr-old Aaron Swartz has committed suicide...He was facing 25yrs for sharing info to the public #JSTOR #demandprogress,” Birgitta Jonsdottir, Icelandic politician and free speech campaigner wrote on the microblogging site.
“Aaron Swartz's brief but brilliant life was dedicated to the access of information. Read his own words, an inspiration aaronsw.jottit.com/howtoget,” Trevor Timm, activist at Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote.