The British government is considering new laws that would jail internet "trolls" for up to two years. The proposal comes on the heels of several high-profile incidents of abuse on social media.
AFP quotes Justice Secretary Chris Grayling who says the proposal is their attempt to curtail a "baying cyber-mob."
There has been increasing concern in Britain about the growing scourge of Internet "trolls" who post hate-filled messages on social media, often threatening their targets.
The parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann are among the most recent victims, and last month a man was jailed for 18 weeks for what prosecutors described as "a campaign of hatred" against a female lawmaker.
Freedom of speech advocates warn the proposal may be a step too far, as criminal sanctions should be a last resort.