Study on the Discursive Strategies of Wired to Repair Trust in Blockchain
Download PDF


Trust repair
Trust in a specific technology
Third-party evaluation



Submitted : 2023-01-30
Accepted : 2023-02-14
Published : 2023-03-01


Digital trust involves not only human trust mediated by certain technology but trust in that technology. However, emerging technologies confront ever-growing skepticism. The blockchain debate is a typical example which may be led by its hypes from the mass media. If the place where blockchain is hyped is the place where the damaged trust in blockchain is repaired, Wired magazine, the voice of the industry, is an appropriate third-party repairer. Though previous studies have deeply investigated trust repair in interpersonal relationships, much remains unknown about how to measure trust in a specific technology and how to repair it if it is violated. This study aims to examine how Wired discursively repair trust in blockchain. To address the issue, 60 Wired stories on blockchain are collected as the corpus data. The corpus is annotated with the help of UAM CorpusTool. A discourse analysis is performed based on the annotation. Unlike the studies on interpersonal trust repair, the results show that the magazine puts more efforts on repairing the functionality and the helpfulness of blockchain partly due to the contextual variables. The discourse of the magazine, sitting on the rational side of trust, features open, objective, and straightforward. Together with the research standpoint of a third-party repairer, the repairing effect of trust-in-tech seems to be more predictable. The reparative strategies of EP & NN could be interpreted as a kind of justification to explain the violations of trust in blockchain, which the magazine mainly attributes to those externally unstable and uncontrollable factors. Above all, blockchain is a technological innovation with the aim to build a trustless world, but meanwhile, its development requires the escort from cyber-resilience which is built on the netizens’ digital trust.


Kohn SC, Momen A, Wiese E, et al., 2019, The Consequences of Purposefulness and Human-Likeness on Trust Repair Attempts Made by Self-Driving Vehicles. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 63(1): 222–226. 10.1177/1071181319631381

Upadhyay N, 2020, Demystifying Blockchain: A Critical Analysis of Challenges, Applications and Opportunities. International Journal of Information Management, 54: 102120.

Liu M, Shi Y, Chen Z, 2019, Distributed Trusted Network Connection Architecture Based on Blockchain. Journal of Software, 30(8): 2314–2336.

Wainwright R, 2019, The Cybersecurity Guide for Leaders in Today’s Digital World, Word Economic Forum, viewed October 3, 2022*16u7c8k*_up*MQ..&gclid=CjwKCAiA0JKfBhBIEiwAPhZXDwh8oSUeX2Mxrf39Q93nXN_2vQ4T43y6vwGrOZ7CCAfj2OTl65OyrRoCTMcQAvD_BwE

Koens T, Poll E, 2019, The Drivers Behind Blockchain Adoption: The Rationality of Irrational Choices, in Euro-Par 2018: Parallel Processing Workshops, Springer, Cham.

Bozoyan C, Vogt S, 2016, The Impact of Third-Party Information on Trust: Valence, Source, and Reliability. PLoS ONE, 11(2): 1–18.

Huang X, Jiang S, He Z, 2020, A Research Summary of Factors of Interpersonal Trust Repair. Young Society, 2020(14): 134–135.

Mayer RC, Davis JH, Schoorman DF, 1995, An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust. AMR, 20, 709–734.

Tomlinson EC, Mayer RC, 2009, The Role of Causal Attribution Dimensions in Trust Repair. Academy of Management Review, 34(1): 85–104.

Kim T, Song H, 2021, How Should Intelligent Agents Apologize to Restore Trust? Interaction Effects Between Anthropomorphism and Apology Attribution on Trust Repair. Telematics and Informatics, 61: 101595.

Zhang L, Zhang N, 2020, Effectiveness of Trust Repair Strategies in the Crisis of Corporate Internet Public Opinion. American Journal of Management Science and Engineering, 5(1): 10.

Pelsmaekers K, Jacobs G, Rollo C, (eds) 2014, Trust and Discourse: Organizational Perspectives, John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Brugger P, 2015, Trust as a Discourse: Concept and Measurement Strategy – First Results from a Study on German Trust in the USA. Journal of Trust Research, 5(1): 78–100.

Fuoli M, Paradis C, 2014, A Model of Trust-Repair Discourse. Journal of Pragmatics, 74: 52–69.

McKnight DH, Cummings LL, Chervany NL, 1998, Initial Trust Formation in New Organizational Relationships. Academy of Management Review, 23(3): 473–490.

Wang X, Liu D, 2019, Discursive Behaviors for Trust-Repair in Crisis: A Text Analysis of BP’s Letters to Shareholders after Oil Spill Crisis. Foreign Language Research, 210(5): 43–48.

Yao X, Qin Y, 2019, A Cognitive?Emotional Approach to Interpersonal Trust Repair. Modern Foreign Languages (Bimonthly), 42(6): 743–754.

Lankton NK, McKnight DH, Tripp J, 2015, Technology, Humanness, and Trust: Rethinking Trust in Technology. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 16(10): 880–918. 10.17705/1jais.00411

Corritore CL, Kracher B, Wiedenbeck S, 2003, On-Line Trust: Concepts, Evolving Themes, a Model. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 58(6): 737–758.

McKnight DH, Carter M, Thatcher JB, et al., 2011, Trust in a Specific Technology: An Investigation of its Components and Measures. ACM Transactions on Management Information System, 2(2): 12

de Visser EJ, Pak R, Shaw TH, 2018, From ‘Automation’ to ‘Autonomy’: The Importance of Trust Repair in Human–Machine Interaction. Ergonomics, 61(10): 1409–1427.

Lin X, Hu Y, 2018, A Summary of Blockchain Technology. Investment, Financing and Trade, 45(2): 97–109.

Hewett N, Lehmacher W, Wang Y, 2019, Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain for Supply Chains: Part 5-A Framework for Blockchain Cybersecurity, World Economic Forum, October 4, 2022,

Hewett N, Lehmacher W, Wang Y, 2019, Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain for Supply Chains Part 1 – Introduction, World Economic Forum, October 4, 2022,

Madnick S, 2020, Blockchain Isn’t as Unbreakable as You Think. MIT Sloan Management Review, 61(2): 65–70.

Jordan A, 2020, Cybercrime Prevention Principles for Internet Service Providers, World Economic Forum, October 5, 2022,

Woodside JM, Augustine, Fred KJ, Giberson W, 2017, Blockchain Technology Adoption Status and Strategies. Journal of International Technology and Information Management, 26(2): 65–93.

Zhao G, Wan Q, Wu Y, Liu S, 2019, Study on the Trust Management Mechanism of Supply Chain Based on Blockchain. Credit Reference, 250(11): 25–31.

Bødker H, 2017, ‘Gadgets and Gurus’: Wired Magazine and Innovation as a Masculine Lifestyle. Media History, 23(1): 67–79.

White K, 1994, The Killer App: Wired Magazine, Voice of the Corporate Revolution. The Baffler, 6(6): 23–28.

Martin JR, White PRR, 2005, The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. Palgrave Macmillan.

O’Donnell M, 2013, UAM Corpus Tool 3.0 Tutorial Introduction, viewed November 2, 2022, http://www.

Guo G, Mi C, 2020, An Analysis of Boeing’s Trust-Repair Discourse. English Language and Literature Studies, 10(2): 17–26.

Baker AL, Phillips EK, Ullman D, et al., 2018, Toward an Understanding of Trust Repair in Human-Robot Interaction: Current Research and Future Directions. ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems, 8(4): 30.

Mulligan C, Zhu Scott J, Warren S, Rangaswami J, 2018, Blockchain Beyond the Hype a Practical Framework for Business Leaders, World Economic Forum, viewed October 6, 2022

Flanagan AJ, Maclean F, Sun M, et al., 2019, Inclusive Deployment of Blockchain for Supply Chains: Part 4 – Protecting Your Data, World Economic Forum, October 6, 2022,

Metag J, Marcinkowski F, 2014, Technophobia Towards Emerging Technologies? A Comparative Analysis of the Media Coverage of Nanotechnology in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Journalism, 15(4): 463–481.

Azhar NF, Jie NQ, Hyun KT, et al., 2020, Security and Privacy Issues in Wireless Networks.

de Filippi P, Mannan M, Reijers W, 2020, Blockchain as a Confidence Machine: The Problem of Trust & Challenges of Governance. Technology in Society, 62: 101284.

Janssen M, Weerakkody V, Ismagilova E, et al., 2020, A Framework for Analyzing Blockchain Technology Adoption: Integrating Institutional, Market and Technical Factors. International Journal of Information Management, 50: 302–309.