Trolls who send abusive messages should no longer get to keep their anonymity online, says Labour MP Jess Phillips, who also revealed she once received 600 rape threats in a single night.
The feminist MP for Birmingham Yardley and campaigner for women's rights, who previously worked at Women's Aid, says she "stopped counting" the number of hateful comments she receives, and has "come to the viewpoint that I don't think people should be allowed to be completely anonymous online anymore."
Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, she said while she regularly receives "emails, Twitter comments and Facebook diatribes," she never thinks anyone is going to physically hurt her or her children.
I received thousands of comments from people saying 'I wouldn't even rape her'
"In one night I received 600 rape threats. It was probably more, but I stopped counting. To try and subvert that, I received thousands of comments from people saying 'I wouldn't even rape her'," she said. "I have suffered all of those things and I have to say I don't feel I am physically in any danger and I don't think my children are in any danger."
Phillips does, however, fret about the impact of trolling on politics. "Where it does worry me, and I think we have to do something about, is when it affects our democracy. I personally have come to the viewpoint that I don't think people should be allowed to be completely anonymous online anymore.
"I don't mind if people appear anonymous online for all sorts of really reasonable reasons," she added. A "reasonable reason" would include an anonymous whistleblower speaking out against the impact of government cuts, for example.
Phillips isn't the only politician suggesting the time has come to end online anonymity, either. This weekend the security minister Ben Wallace similarly proposed introducing digital IDs to curb anonymous bullying and grooming online.
"A lot of the bullying on social media and the grooming is because those people know you cannot identify them," he told The Times. "It is mob rule on the internet. You shouldn’t be able to hide behind anonymity."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May called for internet firms to treat online violence against women more seriously at the G7 summit in Canada on Friday. "Online violence against women and girls should not be separated from offline violence," she said, adding that it should be tackled in the same way as extremist content.