Propastop library: Johanna Vehkoo „Lie Detector’s Handbook“


At the beginning of June, the book “Lie Detector’s Handbook“ (Valheenpaljastajan käsikirja) by Finnish journalist and blogger Johanna Vehkoo was published in Estonian. ”

The 112-page book consists of five chapters: fake news; conspiracy theories; algorithms; the psychology of misinformation and 10 tips for revealing lies.

The book is a simple, easy-to-read book that provides a good overview of what has happened in recent years in the field of disseminating and combating false information. She writes comprehensively about the fact-checking model, the mechanisms of action and nature of conspiracy theories, as well as the operation of algorithms and misconceptions about them.

Vehkoo’s book is a good collection of important examples that have illustrated the dissemination of false information in recent years. Here you will find examples from Myanmar, Macedonian schoolchildren, Donald Trump, Pizzagate, the deepfake of Nancy Pelosi’s video (which is not really deepfake), QAnon, David Icke and many more.

Vehkoo says in the preface to the book: “Misinformation is first and foremost a societal problem. It undermines trust in society and undermines democratic processes. The efforts of individuals alone are not enough to mitigate the effects of harmful information; politics, economic instruments and legislation must be involved. To solve the problem, it must first be acknowledged.

The book does not cling to daily politics; it aims to be a long-term partner in identifying and combating erroneous and false information. ”

Vehkoo is a well-known journalist and revealer of lies in Finland, who has studied the nature of fact control at the Wilson Center in Washington and the Reuters Institute in Oxford. She has written four books and been a member of the Finnish Public Speech Council. Vehkoo has also been the author of the Finnish State Broadcasting Corporation’s “Lie Detector” blog since 2015.

The Vehkoo book should be a recommended reading for media literacy teachers and their students.