Political polarization

Swamped: As domestic reform fails, world leaders take on the globe

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The change promised by the wave of leaders who rose to power around the world since President Trump's 2016 election often hasn't materialized, forcing them to make waves internationally instead of draining their respective swamps.

The big picture: It's not just Trump whose domestic agenda has stalled out. Both Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's far-right policies and French President Emmanuel Macron's technocratic centrism are struggling to move forward at home.

Expert Voices

How global efforts to limit disinformation could infringe speech

man in a suit pointing at a computer whose monitor is glowing red
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The U.K. announced last Monday a sweeping plan to prevent the spread of harmful online content — part of a global trend of new content regulations targeting material designed to polarize and mislead.

The big picture: The British proposal, which comes on the heels of new measures in Australia and Singapore, would create a regulator empowered to punish social media platforms that fail to quickly remove harmful material, including disinformation. But these approaches — which focus on content rather than problematic behavior — have concerning implications for free expression.