January 12, 2013
The Internet Failed Aaron Swartz, Too

I’m bubbling with anger over Aaron Swartz’s suicide.

Read here about him from if you don’t know the guy: http://boingboing.net/2013/01/12/rip-aaron-swartz.html

But I just got done with 48 hours of excruciatingly painful phone calls to write this report about a human rights activist’s death in Pakistan and I’m still dealing with emails from his friends and how much it has devastated them.

To top it off, I’m reeling from a bad week and haven’t slept more than 3-4 hours in the past 48, so I’m going to keep this short but not hold back.

As someone who’s lost my best friend to suicide… as someone who’s struggled with depression and persistent suicidal thoughts for the majority of my life, I’m angry not just at the state for aggressively pursuing the case against Aaron like he was some murderer, I’m also angry at you, internet.

The Anonymous tweets… The hacktivist wails… The netizen outcry… Sorry, dudes, but WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU YESTERDAY!?

- Where was the pressure on MIT?

- Where were the online campaigns to get this case dropped?

- Where was #SaveSwartz?

- Petitions?

- Hashtags?


Some kind of action other than reports on the case on tech-related websites?

Where people? All of a sudden everyone’s all angry… Why did he have to die for the anger to pop out?

How long will people wait until people are put in prison or killed or forced to commit suicide to actually do something? In this case… Protest? Flashmobs? Tweet? Facebook? Idk, reddit, instagram… EN MASSE! SOMETHING! If we care, then where is our positive action before the consequence of the extremely negative actions of the state against citizens’ rights?

Why did we wait so long to get angry?

If people had started off a campaign to get this case dismissed and put their backs to it Swartz could have been lived. Citizens of the internet need to do better than this. We can’t just be outraged after the fact. We need the anger before. This guy helped defeat SOPA/PIPA, for god’s sake. He wasn’t just anyone.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, but bottomline: I’m angry at you internet. And as a part of you, at myself.

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