Australia defence minister awarded $25,000 over defamatory six-word tweet

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By Byron Kaye SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s defence minister won a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday against a refugee advocate who described him as a “rape apologist” in a tweet, a small advance in the conservative government’s effort to curb damaging commentary on social media. Peter Dutton, an outspoken cabinet minister, experienced “hurt and distress” when shown the Feb. 25 Twitter post by a staff member, although his public profile would have meant most people viewed it as opinion rather than a fact, a federal court judge ruled. The lawmaker was awarded A$35,000 ($25,000) in damages, a fra…

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