MPs received almost 190,000 abusive tweets over a three-month period, according to new research.
Researchers at BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT and an independent think tank Demos looked at tweets sent to or from a UK MP between May 9 and August 18 2016.
They found the abuse peaked on June 24 – the day of the EU referendum result and June 30 – the day Boris Johnson pulled out of the Conservative leadership race.
The report concluded #Brexit was the most commonly occurring hashtag for abusive tweets, while #BorisJohnson and #VoteLeave ranked second and third respectively.
Analysis of the exchanges found one in 20 tweets sent to MPs – 188,000 – were abusive, with almost two thirds sent by men.
In addition, 34% of the abuse was “unqualified”, as they did not contain any additional information about why the abuse was sent.
Six MPs were subjected to abuse in 10% of the tweets they received, while 34 received none.
The report blamed the “anonymous and ‘safe distance’ nature of social media platforms” for allowing “abuse to be handed out far less respectfully than it would usually be if delivered face-to-face.”