Russell Brand could face Twitter ban after tweeting phone number of journalist
Screen capture of Russell Brand (YouTube)

Comedian Russell Brand faces a possible Twitter ban after he tweeted the mobile phone number of a Daily Mail journalist who tried to contact him.

Brand, who clashed with a Channel 4 News reporter last week and threatened to sue the Sun after it called him a hypocrite, tweeted a photo of Neil Sears’ business card to more than 8 million followers on the social media site.

The tweet was a photo of the business card of the journalist Neil Sears, which included his mobile phone number. Though it was later deleted the image is in breach of Twitter’s usage rules, which state that users must not post private information about other users without their permission.

After deleting the tweet, Brand wrote : “That was a bit nuts. He put it thru me door with ‘please call’ on it. They’re bothering me mum. Deleted it. I’m human.”

A senior reporter with the Mail, the photo featured Sears’ business card with “please call” written on it and a scrawled line to his mobile phone, landline and work email address.

It was originally tweeted by Brand alongside a reference to the tax affairs of the Daily Mail and its owner, Viscount Rothermere. “One of their senior reporters wants to talk about it,” the comedian wrote.

The image was retweeted hundreds of times by Brand’s followers, some of whom suggested they had tried to contact Sears.

Others criticised the comic for bullying and said he should be banned because the tweet broke the social media’s rules on privacy. One said : “Hats off to Russell Brand for managing the seemingly impossible: making Twitter sympathise with a Daily Mail reporter.”

Twitter rules state: “You may not publish or post other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or social security/national identity numbers, without their express authorisation and permission.”

They add: “Twitter reserves the right to immediately terminate your account without further notice in the event that, in its judgment, you violate these rules or the terms of service.”

in 2012, journalist Guy Adams, then working for the Independent, was banned from the site after he tweeted the email address of an executive at US TV network NBC following criticism of their coverage of the London Olympics.

Twitter had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication. © Guardian News and Media 2014