Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 5 months ago

You could ask them to provide a coherent answer to who it does refer to, because it is quite a struggle to find a list of 12 names - other than the 12 Imams - that somehow relate to each other and aren't arbitrary that fit that hadith.

However, these discussions are usually unfruitful because usually people approach them with their own preconceived biases in mind, so you have to decide whether or not there will be a benefit to the debate. Sometimes it is good just to say your point once, and then move on and let them ponder it on their own.

There is a lot of material you could look at online including on this website for more details on that hadith and ways it has been interpreted by Sunnis and Shi'is.