Voters had been "lulled into a false sense of security" about sexism in the 21st century until online misogyny proved hatred towards woman was very much alive, an equalities minister has said.
Jo Swinson spoke to Good Morning Britain ahead of a summit on sexism, which she said, would help the government to gauge how bad the problem of online trolls had become.
Ms Swinson will chair a summit today which tries to tackle lad culture, gender equality and homophobic bullying.
She said trolling had exposed the level of sexism already out there, which probably would have been part of an everyday conversation down the pub but was now published online.
Trolling, where abusive and threatening messages are sent online to someone voicing an opinion, has made headlines again after Judy Finnagin's daughter Chloe received rape threats online.
Isabella Sorley, 23, and John Nimmo, 25, were sentenced to 12 and eight weeks respectively after sending rape and death threats to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, after she campaigned to have Jane Austen on the £10 note.
And Emma Watson was threatened with a nude photo leak when she launched the feminist HeForShe campaign.