Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said internet trolls could face up to two years in jail under new laws.
He believes quadrupling the current sentence of a sixth month term, will show his determination to "take a stand against a baying cyber-mob".
The announcement from My Grayling came days after TV presenter Chloe Madeley suffered online abuse at the hands of internet trolls - which Mr Grayling described as "crude and degrading".
The law change is to be made as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill going through Parliament, and is due to be debated in the houses of Parliament in the upcoming weeks.
Under the new measures, magistrates could pass serious cases on to crown courts; they will also allow police more time to collect enough evidence to enable more successful prosecutions to be brought to trial.
Mr Grayling said: "These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life.
"No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence."
Miss Madely received rape threats after defending her mother, who made comments on a rape committed by footballer Ched Evans which she said was "non-violent" and did not cause "bodily harm".
The Justice Secretary said: "As the terrible case of Chloe Madeley showed last week, people are being abused online in the most crude and degrading fashion.
"This is a law to combat cruelty - and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob.
"We must send out a clear message - if you troll you risk being behind bars for two years."
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