Swartz was “an extraordinary hacker and activist”, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international non-profit digital rights group based in California, wrote in a tribute. He “did more than almost anyone to make the internet a thriving ecosystem for open knowledge, and to keep it that way”.
Swartz was a prodigy who as a young teenager helped create RSS, a family of web feed formats used to gather updates from blogs, news headlines and audio and video for users. He co-founded Reddit, which was later sold to Conde Nast, as well as the group Demand Progress, which campaigns against internet censorship.
Among internet gurus, Swartz was considered a pioneer of efforts to make online information freely available.