Aristoteles über Sokrates und Trolling

Lustiges Paper von Rachel Barney, erschienen im Journal of the American Philosophical Association: [Aristotle], On Trolling, aufgeschrieben im Stil von, naja, Aristoteles.


Sie versucht darin, klassisches Trolling von Sokrates' Debatier-Stilistik der Provokation und Irreführung abzugrenzen. Ich weiß nicht, ob Ihr das wirklich gelingt. Sie bringt keine Belege für ihre Behauptung, Trolling könne sich beispielsweise nicht durch sokratisches „Thruth-Telling“ auszeichnen und ich bin ebenfalls nicht überzeugt, Trolle wären rein auf pure Zerstörung des Diskurses aus, im Gegensatz zu Erweiterung durch Störung etwa. Mir erscheint die Wahrnehmung von Trolling an der Stelle nicht nur ein bisschen zu eindimensional, was jetzt grade bei einem „Journal of the American Philosophical Association“ ein bisschen verwundern sollte. Then again, Academics, pff.

One might wonder whether there is an art of trolling and an excellence; and indeed some say that Socrates was a troll, and so that the good man also trolls. And this is in fact what the troll claims: that he is a gadfly and beneficial, and without him to ‘stir up’ the thread it would become dull and unintelligent. But this is incorrect. For Socrates was speaking frankly when he told the Athenians to care for their souls, rather than money and honors, and showed that they lacked knowledge. And this is not trolling but the contrary, exhortation and truth-telling— even if the citizens get very annoyed. For annoyance results from many kinds of speech; and the peculiarity [idion] of the troll is not annoyance or controversy in general, but confusion and strife among a community who really agree. And since the one who does this on every occasion must act with knowledge, and on the basis of practice and care, he has a kind of art—just as one might speak of the art of the hack or of the grifter. But it is not really an art, being without any function; and it belongs not to the serious person to be a troll but to the one who lacks education.

What the troll is, and in what way he trolls and for what, has now been said. And it is clear from this that there can be trolling outside the internet. For every community of speakers holds certain goods in common, and with them the conversation [dialegesthai] as an end in itself; and the troll is one who seeks to damage it from within. So a questioner can troll a political meeting, and academics troll each other in committees when they are bored; and a newspaper columnist may be a profit-troll towards a whole city. But blogs and boards and forums and comments sections are where the troll dwells primarily and for the most part. For these are weak communities, and anyone may be part of them: and so their good is easily destroyed. Hence the saying, ‘Trolls are not to be fed’. But though on trolling 3
everyone knows this, everyone does it; for the desire to be right on the internet is natural and present to all.