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Trump’s Faltering Cash Machine Can’t Rely on Facebook for a Fix

Facebook welcomed him back, but he can’t plumb his followers for donations as well as he used to.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Photographer: Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Donald Trump’s back on Facebook, but the technology giant’s data changes are hobbling his ability to wring cash from its users as effectively as he did during his astonishing rise to the White House.

Trump, who has raised more money online than any other politician, no longer can directly target his tens of millions of Facebook followers with fundraising appeals, nor can he find users who have similar political views, making it harder and more expensive to prospect for contributors. While these changes affect every grassroots campaign that relies on Facebook to raise money — including progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who in 2018 upset a veteran New York congressman — the former president needs to grow his army of small-dollar donors more than ever.