Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

Posts Tagged ‘bad discussions’

Sealioning

Posted by Elyse Bruce on January 30, 2018

If someone feigns civility and incessantly demands evidence from others to support their arguments in a discussion while at the same time refusing to produce evidence to support their own arguments in the same discussion, that person is sealioning.

Those who engage in sealioning aren’t interested in serious debate. They are interested in wasting other people’s time while appearing innocent and somewhat naive with regards to the topic at hand. Their questions are phrased in neutral terms with the intent of demonizing the other person.

You can identify sealioning relatively quickly as those who engage in this behavior would rather ask question after question without providing any answers themselves or offering an opinion. A cybermob following the person engaged in sealioning then jumps in to support the abusive behavior, throwing other questions at you, and bullying you into silence.

Why? Because when it comes to sealioning, mob rule is one of the key aspects of the activity. The purpose of sealioning is to harass the other person for reasons that are only known to the sealion and whoever is privy to the sealion‘s reasons for harassing the other person.

If you choose not to respond or you chose to stop responding to the person engaged in sealioning, you are then accused of realizing you are wrong but refusing to admit you are wrong.

One trait that stands out for those who engage in sealioning is the need for self-promotion and self-proclaimed expertise that may or may not have anything to do with the discussion at hand.

So what do you look out for if you suspect sealioning?

1. Incorrect statements are made without proof to substantiate the statements.
2. Cybermobbing tactics with two or more of the predators following suit.
3. Cruel and untrue ad hominem attacks on those who do not agree with them.
4. The need to be right at all costs even when they are provided with proof to the contrary.
5. Feigned offense for the sole purpose of discrediting and demonizing the other person.
6. Feigned politeness and courtesy in behavior and/or speech.

The first use of the word was on 19 September 2014 by cartoonist David Malki on Wondermark when he uploaded his cartoon, “The Terrible Sea Lion.”

Yes, sealioning is a very new expression so don’t tire it out.

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Posted in Idioms from the 21st Century | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »