A Northern Ireland MP who has been the victim of social media abuse said more needs to be done to protect sports stars from trolls.
Carla Lockhart has spoken out after a series of high-profile incidents where footballers have been targeted online.
Manchester United striker Anthony Martial was subjected to racist abuse on Instagram following his side's 1-1 draw at West Brom on Sunday.
The Frenchman was also targeted last month, along with teammate Axel Tuanzebe, following their loss against Sheffield United at Old Trafford.
United's Marcus Rashford and Lauren James, West Brom's Romaine Sawyers and Chelsea's Reece James have all received sickening messages in recent weeks.
Yesterday the Londonderry-born Republic of Ireland footballer James McClean revealed he had been sent death threats online.
Instagram announced new measures last week to tackle online abuse in the wake of the latest cases.
Manchester United said the abuse was being carried out by "anonymous mindless idiots" and urged social media platforms and regulatory authorities to "strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour".
Ms Lockhart, the Upper Bann MP, who previously said her family and friends deleted their social media accounts because they didn't want to see the abuse directed at her anymore, believes a legal framework to hold those who post abuse on social media to account is the first step in stopping the problem.
She added that users on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram must prove their identity before setting up any account so they can be traced.
"For some time I have been highlighting this vile activity and pressing the Government on the need to bring forward online harms legislation," she said. "It is urgently needed to deal with these types of harms.
"Abuse of any kind online is wrong and should be condemned by all right thinking people. It is not acceptable that, in many cases, anonymous people can say something online without follow up or any repercussions.
"The issue often is the 'legal but harmful' content. What they say may not be illegal but ultimately harms the person they have targeted. We need the legislation that allows for action by the platforms and the police.
"What we now see is the issue receiving some more profile with footballers - many from a BAME background - being harassed online. This is just unacceptable and wrong."
Ms Lockhart hopes the high-profile footballers, such as Rashford and Martial, will join the campaign to bring legislation forward.
She said that as a political representative she is expected to "shrug these things off" but found it "most repulsive" that her family sees the vile messages aimed at her.
"I'm a mum, a wife and a daughter and for anyone to read such things about a loved one is very hurtful," Ms Lockhart added.
"I am not alone of course. Many female politicians are often subjected to similar abuse. It's wrong and needs to be stopped.
"Whilst many people want to remain anonymous for good reasons there should still be a need for the host platform to confirm the identity of the account holder in the first instance."