Thanks lkeke35 for introducing me to this term.
I mentioned how I’ve dealt with online trolls, two of them in particular whose names won’t be mentioned but I’m fairly certain you know who I mean, who’s declared war against those they classify as liberal i.e. any and all black people who talk about racism, feminists, LGBT, usual democrats, former President Obama, anyone who disagrees with them and is not a conservative. As far I as know, the demented duo’s arsenal doesn’t extend beyond that of their own internet worlds. The worse they’ll do is relentlessly disrupt online forums with their for the supposed sake of embattled conservatives against the evil left. If they’re banned from the forum, the next worst thing is they’ll copy and paste blog posts and attempt to dismantle them with their right wing “logic” using responses in red while griping about what a terrible fascist you supposedly are for kicking them out of your space. Such people are one temper tantrum away from doing something crazy in real life that might end up on the news, local and(or) national.
I can uncover a laundry list of everything wrong about these two emotionally stunted, Trump supporting brats. Their biggest insidious habit, however, has been their bellowing of wanting proof of racism and sexism. As you know, they’ll demand you produce evidence to back up your claims. You’ll work your ass off to produce some, but it’s rejected by them as not being legit, flaws in the reasoning, incorrect data, whatever they’ll come up to tell you that you practically just got punk’d.
To them, you haven’t proved them wrong. They’re right. They’re always right in their heads when it comes to these topics. And they’re far from unique in this form of online harassment and psychopathic nonsense.
Thanks to Ikeke35, I’ve learned that there’s a term for that kind of juvenile behavior. Sea Lioning. Basically, it’s all that: the demand for proof and the rejection of that proof. In many cases while doing so, the harasser tries to make you feel low with condescension as if you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s infuriating as a person of color who talks about racism, for example, to have a person – a white person in most cases tell you that you don’t know what racism is, and it’s worse if that said person, who in my case are two white males (one of them known to color and gender switch), say that more white people are victims of racism than people of color. It’s the same with women who discuss sexism and misogyny and is told by men that they’re wrong and that men are the real victims.
Sometimes these trolls don’t have any evidence, credible or otherwise, to back up their objections. But they believe they know better than any expert, scientist or author responsible behind your sources. Their narcissism is on full display immediately after they act as if they’re naive about subjects they’re so pissed off reading and hearing about.
The slang Sea Lioning has been around for a few years. It’s based on a webcomic called “The Terrible Sea Lion” by David Malki in which a sea lion intrudes on a conversation to debate a woman who says that she could do without sea lions. This shows that trolls are attracted to conversations they consider are bashing certain groups they share physical traits or designations with and are fragile enough to believe that it’s unjust hatred includes those groups and themselves.
The slang was coined by anti-GamerGate supporters. GamerGate focused mainly on sexism and misogyny in video game culture that has stemmed from the alleged affairs of an indie game developer. GamerGate supporters used sea lioning to harass the opposition, among other disgraceful tactics.
Sea lioners are not – I repeat – NOT interested in having a civil conversation or debate with others. They don’t want to learn anything, especially from their targets. Even if they say otherwise, their actions will prove otherwise. Their goal is to waste your time and frustrate you to hair-pulling, curse word-shouting, furniture-throwing proportions. Deep down inside, they know the issues you care about are very prevalent, but they really don’t care. In fact, they’re scared to death that people are using their freedom of speech to talk openly about them. Such a fact ruins their comfort zone. They feel negative emotions. So, they want you to feel bad for making them feel bad. They’ll bully you, call you and(or) your ideas and thoughts stupid and don’t care how it makes you feel. If you refuse to play with them, they’ll call you names. There is proof that these problems are major, but they refuse to believe it by choice, not logic. Self-reflection is a big no-no, especially to the so-called “personal responsibility” types. It’s something everyone else must do, not them. And if you try, they’ll accuse you of mind-reading. They prefer to be the worst possible people. In the end, you’d think you’re dealing with spoiled, bratty toddlers who’s smart enough to know how to use a computer but are too immature to deal with real world problems they don’t understand and don’t want to understand and are too narcissistic know that it’s not all about them and that they’re wrong.
In the end, the lesson is that it’s no use trying to talk to sea lioners who do nothing but bark at you like their animal namesakes.