Can we have a dictionary, please? {about sealioning}

Does that still come up?

I did add Trock to the glossary today. I believe I saw that in the Pit at some point and have made heavy use of it since.

I should look for the earliest SDMB usage.

ETA: Looks like it was first used on the SDMB December 2017. I’m reasonably sure it is quite a bit older, it seems like a obvious message board term once you see it.

I think I saw it in the (I hate to call it this) Retard thread just today.

I was sea-lioned on another website, before it had a buzzword, and I’m pretty sure I got at least one poster banned. It’s an offshoot of trolling.

Think of something often done by teenage girls, pretending they like someone just so they can earn their trust and then betray it. Sea-lioning is a variation of that, yet another form of troublemaking under the radar.


There’s politeness and there’s weaponized politeness, the latter being helpfully illustrated by MAD in December of '64 (PDF pages 10 & 11):

To the Glossary or to the first use?

Earliest use I found on the SDMB:

Glossary was linked to by ECG earlier.


One suggestion, about threadshitting, that is something like saying “I don’t own a TV” in a thread about “Your fave TV show?” .

Read this whole thread, it was defined pretty early on.

That is pretty minor if they stop there, but a post like:

Generic TV Thread
“I can’t believe people watch TV in this day and age”
“I don’t own a TV, only live theater is worthwhile”

If they keep going or post additionally and just as worthlessly they’ll get a warning.

Need help with Word 365
“Argh, all MS products blow, switch to Google Docs.”

The old classic that has been gone for a while:
Sports related thread
“Only Neanderthals care about sports.”

I disagree. I think the comic sums it up perfectly, which is why “sea-lioning” became such a successful internet trope. In the comic, the woman simply happens to mention that she doesn’t particularly like sea lions. Overhearing this, a sea lion insinuates itself into the conversation and into the very lives of the couple, “politely” but relentlessly harassing them day and night by pretending to be seeking evidence and justification for what was just a casual offhand comment about a preference. So sea-lioning is indeed very much a form of trolling, but it’s a sort of performance art disguised as civil discussion.

The annoying persistence is there, but I see no obvious element of pretense in the sea lion’s curiosity, and that’s the problem.

The criticism is just what @Martini_Enfield said - the disparagement of sea lions comes out of the blue with no apparent rhyme or reason. The reader is left wondering why on earth she dislikes sea lions. To a great extent one sympathizes with the sea lion - it’s quite reasonable to be curious about why she feels that way. The comic completely lacks the element of disingenuous questioning that defines sealioning. That would require that the sea lion knows full well why she dislikes sea lions, and that his persistent questions do not derive from genuine curiosity but solely from an agenda to annoy and antagonize.

My point is the couple are part of the problem by refusing to provide any explanation. If the woman had said “A sealion bit my sister once”, then they’d have the moral high ground to say “We’ve given you an answer, sorry it’s not one you like, now clear off”. Instead they just roll their eyes (metaphorically) and think that gives them the moral high ground.

Edit: What @Riemann said.

I get your point. I just feel that you’re overthinking it and demanding a precision that cannot practically be achieved in a few panels of a comic. For me, anyway, the basic meaning of the simple cartoon scenario is perfectly clear.

If we’re going to talk about the lack of precision we could start with the talking sea-lion.

This is SDMB. Talking sea lions may pass muster, but the use of a non-standard hyphen is beyond the pale. You have lost all credibility in this discussion.

Fuckin’ spell-check spell check spellcheck trolling me…

…it wasn’t supposed to be taken literally. Imagine instead they were talking about racists. That they said they could “do without more racists.”

Do you think the couple owe a random person on the internet an explanation for that opinion?

Or imagine they were talking about goobergaters. “I could do without the goobergaters.”

Do you think the couple owe a goobergater a civil conversation about what they said? Because “ethics in games journalism?”

People have zero obligation to engage with anyone.

True enough, and that’s all the comic portrays. But the comic does not portray what sealioning is. Sealioning is more than just being persistent and demanding engagement under inappropriate circumstances.

That’s a rather bizarre comment, considering that the comic is indisputably the origin of the “sea-lioning” internet trope, and everything that we understand it to mean.

…I’m not sure what you mean here, or why this matters. The comic came first. It describes an interaction that we now call sealioning.