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Twitter Defamation News

Another Twitter libel warning as actor Riz Ahmed and journalist Hardeep Singh reach 'substantial' damages agreement

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

May 27, 2013 | 3 min read

Twitter users have received another libel warning following a 'substantial' damages agreement between actor Riz Ahmed and freelance journalist Hardeep Singh after Ahmed accused Singh of being a bigot in a tweet.

Settlement: Hardeep Singh has received an apology and damages

The news follows the Sally Bercow libel ruling, in which a tweet posted by Bercow about Lord McAlpine was deemed defamatory by the High Court.

Both Bercow and Singh have advised social media users to think before they tweet.

Ahmed, who starred in the film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, accused Singh of being a bigot in June last year after the journalist wrote an article for the Telegraph headlined: "It's time to stop using the word 'Asians'", reports the Press Gazette. Ahmed also claimed Singh had once tried to punch him.

The article written by Singh had requested journalists stop referring to 'Asian' sex grooming gangs because it was offensive to other British Asians.

Ahmed has retracted the allegations and made an apology to Singh, alongside an agreement to pay substantial damages, saying: "I wish to withdraw and apologise for both of my allegations and I recognise in particular that you were not in the vicinity of the Jazz Cafe nor have you ever tried to punch me. It was simply a case of mistaken identity on my part."

Sally Bercow said she had learned her lesson "the hard way" after the High Court ruling and came to a damages settlement with Lord McAlpine over her tweet, which implied a connection between the Tory politician and a Newsnight investigation into allegations of paedophilia.

Both Lord McAlpine and Hardeep Singh will donate their damages to charity.

Have the recent high profile Twitter libel cases changed your approach to tweeting? Let us know in the comment section below.

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