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


Trust repair
Trust in a specific technology
Third-party evaluation




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.


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