Emma Roddick, the SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands, told The Scotsman’s political podcast The Steamie that abuse received by politicians online had led to some shunning the technology.
She also accused pro-independence bloggers of stoking the abuse through their posts and said it made her less likely to engage with politics online.
Ms Roddick, who became a MSP aged just 23 on the back of winning her seat at the Holyrood election in 2021, has received death and rape threats in the past and said abuse can get “personal”.
She said her experience of Scottish politics online has deteriorated, stating it continues to get “worse and worse”.
The MSP said: “Twitter in particular, people build up their own little bubbles and it is just an echo chamber and their views get more and more entrenched. I was just speaking about this with some colleagues, a few of us have taken Twitter off our phones.
"It’s got to the point where if I want to put something out on Twitter, I’ll type it out, make sure it is the right length of characters, put a photo, send it to my time saying ‘put this up, don’t read the comments’.”
Her own experience of abuse, which has included people referencing her parents who died prior to her election in 2021, can often hit home.
Ms Roddick said: “You get dragged in and a lot of it is just nonsense, but some comments can get quite personal. There are times where, and people won’t mean it or know enough about you to know why it is a problem, but folk have commented on pretty normal things I’m putting out saying ‘here’s what I did in the chamber today’, and they’ll go ‘your parents must be disappointed’ and for me that hits.
"But it’s not worth expending your energy on when there are so many things going on in this place, every single day, so many issues to debate.”
During stage three of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill in Holyrood, Ms Roddick was the MSP who raised accusations that a colleague, Ash Regan, had misgendered a transperson during the debate.
Asked whether misgendering was acceptable, Ms Roddick said: “No. I think there are a lot of different unacceptable things in language and unacceptable bigotries and many of the others, if they were spoken in Parliament, you would expect a call of order and it to be called out and for people to have to apologise.
"But for some reason, transphobia seems to be an acceptable form of bigotry. I don’t think it is, but it is certainly being accepted where others wouldn’t be.”
Ms Roddick also hit out at colleagues who failed to support the government over the Gender Recognition Reform Bill.
The MSP said: “When it comes to sitting in this Parliament as an SNP MSP, even as a backbencher, you have to get behind the Government. We need to get behind them and support them, especially when it is a commitment made in the manifesto multiple times.”