Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Department of Communication

Program or Major

Communication, Educational Studies

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Nora Draper


In September 2021, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, leaked confidential documents surrounding internal research performed at the company, revealing that Facebook knew the negative impact Instagram had on the mental health of teenagers. In this paper, I study how the media frames the relationship between mental health, teenagers, and social media when discussing the leaked documents. In order to do this, I perform a critical discourse analysis of thirty print media articles written about the Facebook Whistleblower, focusing on how the
articles present gender, mental health, and the positive and negative uses of social media. I also look at the implications this leak of information can have on future policy.