What is Sealioning?



Her indisputable status as an ID Sealion.

Histone Code: A Challenge to Evolution, an Inference to Design
(S. Joshua Swamidass) #2

I see no evidence that she is a sealion. Do you know what a sealion is?

(John Harshman) #3

I for one do not. Please explain.

(Curtis Henderson) #4

I had to look it up to see what Wikipedia says:

Sealioning (also spelled sea-lioning and sea lioning ) is a type of trolling or harassment which consists of pursuing people with persistent requests for evidence or repeated questions, while maintaining a pretense of civility.

I completely understand the moniker now! Although I do not know if it applies to O’Leary, I have seen it used appropriately here :slight_smile:

(Guy Coe) #5

I’m concerned that by “labeling” behavior, we too easily end up dismissing, rather than productively engaging, a person.
Participation on the forums is voluntary, so when someone in particular becomes (or seems) intractible, the policy is to have moderators or others step in, and only “discipline” such intractability when it becomes abusive or completely unproductive.
In other words, we have to be careful to avoid the very same trap, ourselves, when so labeling.
My two cents, @swamidass .

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #6

Of course. Very good point. In the case of @mung, he is certainly capable of doing better. He has important thoughts to consider. Soon, he will be getting a better title.

(John Harshman) #7

Mung has on occasion produced a thoughtful, interesting post. If the proportion of thoughtful posts to garbage comments could be increased somehow, that would be good. Perhaps he could be encouraged by engaging with the good posts and ignoring the bad.


A person who engages in harassment, for a start. Which is why I am not a Sealion. I don’t go around your site harassing you or any other individual posting here. If I were to do so I’d probably do it to Timothy Horton, but I don’t even do that. So I thank you for removing that slur from my name.

(Timothy Horton) #9

You may not chase individuals but you do go around shitting in almost every pro-science thread just to distract from the discussions. Everyone has seen it, everyone knows about you from this and other boards where you behave the same way.


Sealioning is a type of trolling or harassment which consists of pursuing people with persistent requests for evidence or repeated questions, while maintaining a pretense of civility.

if I am not pursing you, or Joshua, or T_aquaticus, etc., then I am not engaged in “Sealioning.” If someone does think I am pursuing them I invite them to report it to the moderators and send me a PM.

(Timothy Horton) #11

“People” is plural Mung. You actively attempt to troll most if not all people who are critical of ID-Creationism. That you do so with faux politeness doesn’t change the fact you’re deliberately trying to disrupt productive conversations. You’ve been doing it for years on multiple science discussion sites.


Of course it is. And mass murderers kill people. But it would be hard to convict them if they never actually killed any individual person.

(Timothy Horton) #13

Killing people is an actual crime. Blanket trolling of pro-science people on science boards is just being an asshat. Or a sealion.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #14

I don’t follow. You certainly have engaged in trolling behavior. You certainly have taken pleasure in harassing me with “when will you stop beating your wife?” ad hominem.

That is one of your behaviors. Not only that, when move your off-topic distractions to other threads, you complain that this is unfair. You were consistent doing something polite but insensitive (post off topic distraction) and then complain loudly about mistreatment when it is managed in a normal way (splitting a thread). This is one example of inventive trolling that fits the sealioning profile.

That is the issue. It is polite but deliberate disruption of productive conversations, and loud complaint about mistreatment when this disruption is moderated. Many of the contexts you’ve been, no one has moderated you. Here, it will not be allowed. Change the pattern, or expect to be in constant conflict with the moderators till we give up and ban you.

That being said, since we called you out on this, you have not been doing it. Great job. Keep it up, and you will no longer have the reputation here. I’d welcome your productive participation in conversations here.

(Dale Cutler) #15

May I request the change of a nickname from “Unspecified Interlocutor” to “Specified Sealion”? :stuck_out_tongue:

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

Cute, but @Timothy_Horton is not a sealion. Some people certainly think he can be a troll at times. He can be overly aggressive at times, and it seems born out of frustration. I wish he was more kind and polite, which makes him essentially the opposite of a sealion.

Have you seen the comic where the term arises yet? It might be instructive:

(Dale Cutler) #17

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

(Dale Cutler) #18

“I have been unfailingly polite…” is not characteristic of any unspecified interlocutors that I am aware of, so you are correct – he is definitely not a sealion, and yes, troll is more apt.

(Timothy Horton) #19

BIG LOL! DaleCutler is still so butthurt over being embarrassed on his “motor” equivocation he has to lash out in anger at anyone.

You really should get some professional help for those anger issues buddy. :exploding_head:

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #20

A sealion is a type of troll, and @Timothy_Horton (and @Mung) are not defined by their behavior at times. Both add important contributions at times, which is why neither are banned, at least not yet.

Case in point. Whether or not that is true, no need to kick him while he is down. Be kind. It is more convincing.