The verb is from The Terrible Sea Lion, a 2014 strip in the webcomic Wondermark, in which a character expresses a dislike of sea lions and a passing sea lion repeatedly, intrusively asks the character to explain.
- (Internet, slang) To intrude on a conversation with disingenuous questions in an attempt to engage in unwanted debate as a form of harassment.
2014 March 12, Glenn Fleishman, “Twitter takes aim at trolls—and promises more”, in Boing Boing:
- Randi's list is a key reason I've been able to continue to use Twitter, as it prevents relentless ideological sealions from crowding my mentions.
2015 January 28, Andrew Wheeler, “Agent Carter’ Recap, Episode 4: The Blitzkrieg Button”, in Comics Alliance:
- There, Peggy speaks for every angry marginalised person who’s ever been sealioned or tone-policed in a disagreement.
2015 March 24, Sarah Seltzer, “Beyond Mansplaining: A New Lexicon of Misogynist Trolling Behaviors”, in Flavorwire:
- The purpose of sealioning never to actually learn or become more informed.
2015 April 1, Arthur Chu, “Trevor Noah and the Toxicity of Twitter: A Cocktail Party Conversation That’s Being Refereed”, in The Daily Beast:
- I can attest to reactionary right-wing trolls being the black belt masters of Internet pile-ons, or as Wondermark has indelibly dubbed the practice, “sealioning.”
2018 November 19, Cathy Young, “The dangers of going too far to curb online harassment”, in Washington Post:
- Popular definitions of harassment also extend to “sealioning” — a recently coined term based on an Internet comic, “The Terrible Sea Lion” — which seems to mean little more than unwelcome attempts to engage someone in debate.
sealion (plural sealions)
- (uncommon) Alternative form of
- ^ “This comic is the most apt description of Twitter you'll ever see”, in The Independent, 2014-09-29, retrieved 28 February 2017
- ^ Maxwell, Kerry (2015-10-06), “Definition of Sea lion”, in Macmillian Dictionary
- ^ Poland, Bailey (November 2016) Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online, U of Nebraska Press, ISBN 978-1-61234-766-0, pages 144–145